Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pushin' Tea

There has recently been a crackdown on Marijuana in Daegu.  Every once in a while the police will get wind of an operation run by a misc. foreigner, and this, to them, is just unacceptable.  Foreigners already have a stereotype here for dealing drugs and spreading STD's.  The fact that some foreigners really do that is bad for business, so to speak.  I'm sure they bust Koreans sometimes, but the mobsters run that op usually so the 'old boys network' keeps them going.  Plus, busting foreigners is bigger news and gets the police on the front page probably.  They recently caught a Korean American guy with over 300 grams of pot growing in his apartment.  After they bust him they look in his phone for all calls repeating to and from people.  Those people get a surprise visit from the police, at school, and get drug tested on the spot.  

A lot of people get kicked out of the country this way, but for the people who were just friends with the kid it sucks.  It's quite embarrassing to get drug tested in school in the first place, especially if you fail, and get the boot.  But if you pass and don't get kicked out, the suspicion alone is really bad AND you have to stay and deal with that.  I am happy to say, I only knew of the kid in question (never called him), and I am as clean as a whistle anyway.  But man, this kid is going to serve some serious time. 


Also, on the tea front, I have been drinking it (and I mean real tea) hard core.  Every morning I'll have a cup if it's not too hot outside.  But about three times already I have felt like I was getting sick, or at least a cold.  I immediately and indiscriminately start guzzling down whatever tea I can find at school.  By lunch time I usually feel 100% better.  It's quite amazing how amazing tea works.  Mental, or physical...it does the job. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Updates

My writing is slowing down because this year I'm motivated as hell.  I've become busier than ever.  My days have become filled with lots of extra-curricular activities.  I started acting again after many years off.  I went to auditions for a one-act play 'festival'.  There weren't many people there, but there were more people there then parts in the play.  So the competition wasn't fierce, and the troupe isn't the most professional, but we are all fans and we are all into it.  It was really nice to get back behind a script and actually read lines.  I felt the rust chipping off with each word. 

I ended up getting the parts I wanted (yes parts...2 plays 2 parts.  One is a very small part, but fun.  I'm a stick!).  I'm going on a field trip this Friday with my school.  They say picnic, but they say a lot of things.  I'm going to assume there will be food, and it will be outdoors.  But with almost 200 3-5 year olds there will definitely be more than just that.  I'll make sure to bring my camera. 

Also this weekend is a Daegu Pockets Magazine FREE trip that I am volunteering on...so I can go for...um...free...  It's more to help out my friend, but it should be fun. There are a lot of activities and even more food.  There should be plenty to write about next week.  I'm going to try to post at least once if not more per week. 

Keep checking back.  Keep it Kosher. Out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pre-firedrill post reading

before you read what's below, you should look at this picture of my favorite student.  Her name is Flora and she finds me every morning to say hi, or her version of hi, which is basically squeeking.  She wants to be picked up so she can touch my face (usually my big nose).  If you remember I mentioned a little girl who laughs at anything I say and thinks I'm the funniest person in the world...well this is her. 

But back to the pre-fire drill reading.

I can't tell you how happy I am that this school did a fire drill.  My first year in Korea, at public school, there was not one fire drill.  There never is because the government doesn't make it mandatory.  I would guess there has never been a death from a fire at a school before, so this is the base line for not doing one....which is stupid.  Of course it might happen one day.  Knock on wood it doesn't, but if there was a death, that is what it would take for the government to force it upon schools.  The excuse would be just as bad as the event.  It would go something like this, "This never happened before, we didn't know it would, so it's not our fault."  If you read my previous post about the parents who let their kid starved to death because they were raising a fake baby on the internet...their excuse was something along these lines. 

It means a lot to me that this school has at least enough sense to practice an evacuation without being told to do so.  As we all know, shit happens.  And this little girl is one of the protected here at my school because of this preemptive strike.  Stay healthy readers.  Peace.

FIIIIRRRRREEEEEEEEE....drill

It's been a recent trend lately to tell me something is going on and my classes are canceled.  But then they'll come back and tell me 10 minutes before the class that it isn't canceled.  So I stopped listening to everyone, and started to assume that they are always wrong.  I even told them to stop telling me any cancellation stuff until just before the class to be canceled.

Today we had a fire drill.  They of course, as per my request, didn't tell me.  I didn't have class during the drill anyway.  BUT it would have been nice to get a heads up so the damn fire bell didn't scare the shit out of me.  I haven't heard one of those in a long long time, and it was painful.  I was on my computer at school (like I am right now 10 mins after the drill) and I jumped in my chair.  I guessed it was a drill.  Correct.

I walked out of my office just in time to see all my 3 years olds walking in a line, bent over,  low to the ground with their hands over their mouths.  Very VERY cute.  I followed them outside where the rest of them were sitting in lines, in the playground area.  As soon as I walked out about 10 of them got up and ran to me to hug me, and the rest yelled my name.  The teachers looked at me with disdain because they were trying to keep the kids quiet.  I thought I better go behind the masses so they couldn't see me.  The fire guys came out to do a lecture on fire extinguishers and other stuff.  It was a little chilly so I wanted to go back inside but I was told to stay out.  I didn't know why, but when I insisted on going inside my co-worker was sitting in the office almost in tears.  She told me she got into a fight with our boss and she quit.  Oh....woops.  I left her alone for a little and went back outside.

As of now that same co-worker is sitting next to me working, so I'm guessing they worked it out?  It would be a shame to lose her as a co-worker.  She is cool, and really likes to work.  She also has the most travel experience of any Korean person I have met, which naturally brings her near the top of my cool Korean person list.  A cute drill, a small fight.  Be good.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Motivation in an awesome form

I'll tell ya, after performing at that bar this last time I really want to get back out there again.  I get complimented that night of course, but it was really nice to be recognized and complimented again the following weekend after.  It's not much, but it's nice to make an impression, especially a positive one.  I'm pretty damn motivated after this.  I might even try to write my own songs!  Who knows! 

Just happy to be singing again.  Also a girl recognized me from when I first performed there like 8 months ago.  She is very big into acting and runs some acting groups.  It was good to connect with her because I'll be starting acting again.  An art I am VERY out of practice in.  This year is both promising with a great job, and getting back into my passions.  I'm excited to get back to practice.  Comment on my videos, let me know if I should stop it!....or keep going????!??

Semi Charmed kind of life performed by Eagle Man Randy!

Eggs

Is it strange to anyone else that my refrigerator has only 11 eggs slots in the door?  Every time we have on extra egg and no where to put it.  Well no where that is as satisfying as a little depression made for it.  It's good that the fiance putts away the eggs, because f I didn't want to cook it right away I would probably have to find a creative way to get rid of it.  That could get messy for other people. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lie Love Lou

Last night I sang at that bar Communes again.  I was actually very happy with the results.  Every week we get better...that is to be expected with practice, but still it doesn't HAVE to happen.  My fiancee always comes to watch, and tapes me.  It's nice to see what I have to do differently.  She also mocks me because I always say 'Lie' instead of I.  A bad habbit...She's been running around the apartment telling me "Lie Love Lou" and then giddily trotting away.  Small girl, big joker.  Check it out.  I think this one was the best so far. 

PUSH- Match Box 20

Monday, April 12, 2010

Overseas Marriage

Wow...an American trying to marry a Filipino in Korea...yeah confusing.  Even more confusing is the paperwork that goes with it.  My government really wants to deter people who are trying to marry just to get someone a green card.  I can understand why, but it makes it so annoying for those of us who are getting married for all the right reasons.  I printed out only half of the forms that we needed and I gasped.  It was so heavy and thick.  Good thing I got into reading in the last couple of years because I'm going to need those skills.

I SHALL NOT BE DETERED!  SCREW YOU AMERICAN RULES OF ENGAGEMENT!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A sad story

Forgive me for ruining the mood of this whole blog, but as we enjoy humor and adventure, we also have to endure sadness.  Someone said you can't appreciate the sweet without the sour, but as of this moment, there is very little sweet. 

In my previous post, you might have read about my Hapkido family and the dinner we all had...I was walking into the subway today on my way to the gym when I was called by my ex-coworker.  He told me that a friend of ours was killed in an accident.  I called her Nu-Nim, which in Korean means 'elder sister'.  Now that I am forced to think about it, I don't even know her real name, but she was always at dinner with us smiling, drinking (only a little because she was the responsible one) and joking.  She was a very nice lady.  She was the first Korean person ever to feed me.  At dinner, when I first arrived, she was so excited to meet me that she picked up her chopsticks and shoved a piece of pork in my mouth even before I was settled into my seat.  Back then,  I didn't know that was a sign of respect and welcome, but she didn't let much get in the way of her personality.

Tonight I take off my Hapkido uniform and put on my suit.  I'll be going a funeral service instead of practice.  I haven't been hit with a death of a current friend in quite sometime.  I feel sorry for her husband and son.  I hope that there is at least a little bit of truth, if not a lot, in Heaven and God; or at least something similar to it.  I can't call what I have faith, but definitely hope.  It would be nice.  Deaths always make people feel lucky to be alive, and love the ones you love that much more.  So to honor her, I will live, and live well.  So please grab your loved ones and give them a big smooch and a hug.  Horrible things happen everyday.  Stay healthy, happy, and safe everyone.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dear Google, you SUCK

Dear Google,

You suck.  I am really pissed off us MAC 10.4.11 Tiger using peoples can't use Google Chrome on our operating system.  If you were a person I would punch you.  I mean really? What the hell!  Maybe they struck some kind of secret deal with MAC not to let us use it so we would buy the upgrade.  Bastards, all of them.  My browser crashes so much, with Chrome only the tab that has the problem will close and not the whole browser.  That is worth it all right there.  But now I hate you Google.  So kiss my butt....until you make it for us too...or I upgrade...

Re-start squared

My first year in Korea I was very heavily into Hapkido.  I took classes every day and sometimes twice a day.  They were free so why wouldn't I?  I also competed a bit, and succeeded in placing in the national competition, which was very very sweet.  But when I returned for my second year it wasn't in the same city as my first year, and therefore nowhere near my Hapkido gym.  I went from being a black belt to a bum.  No gym, no practice...I felt like I forgot everything I learned.


The great thing about this year is that I AM BACK IN MY ORIGINAL CITY!  By bus, I live about 1hr and 15 minutes away from where my gym is, but that won't stop me from going at least once a week.  My first time seeing my "Hapkido family," as they proudly call themselves (and so do I), was the weekend before last.  My Kwan Jang Nim (Hapkido Master) welcomed me back with a party.  In attendance was everyone I knew and hung out with from my first year.  The only person who speaks English in that group is my co-worker from year 1, who made the original introduction, but my Kwan Jang Nim and have developed an understanding.  Between his really broken English and my really broken Korean we can talk about almost anything, and have a pretty good understanding of each other. The welcome back party was about 10 people, a lot of alcohol and food, and our lovely end of the night tradition, KARAOKE!  It was a great way to ease back into all of it.  It was like I never left.

So this last Friday I finally was able to put on my uniform and tie my black belt up again.  It's a lovely one with my name on it.  But because of my absence I had to look on the internet for the proper way to tie it because I forgot.  I hopped on the bus excitedly and awaiting my arrival in Chil-Gok.  My return was supposed to be a secret but my Kwan Jang Nim couldn't help himself, he told everybody.  I saw all the kids I practiced with, but now they were almost double their height.  It was nice to see them grown up a little...although still absent were their English skills.  There was so much I forgot, and I was expected to teach my old co-workers' new foreign teacher, who attended, some basics.  Things I forgot: Even though I looked up the belt knot, I still put the name on the wrong side.  When I took the belt off to fix it, I forgot to turn away from the flag. I forgot the order of the stretches, the balance warm-up, the breathing warm up, and how to get to the ground properly when kneeling to bow.  I gave my Kwan Jang Nim a heads up I was rusty, so he just laughed at me and kicked me in the butt.  After doing it once I remembered immediately.

After teaching the new guy the basics, which my K.J.N was grateful for (because he admitted to me he couldn't communicate with the guy), I warmed up my kicks and had a sort of kicking test.  I was worried that I would embarrass myself with the rust being chipped off my legs, but guess what...I STILL GOT IT.  I impressed myself and my K.J.N.  Side kicks, hook kicks, back kicks, spinning back kicks, jump kicks, spinning back jump kicks, 360 kicks taking off, kicking, and landing with the same foot (more gymnastics than martial arts, but still pretty cool to see)....All came back out of muscle memory.  I even heard my K.J.N gasp with a mixture of satisfaction AND disbelief.  "Better now, no last time" he said.  That is about as clear as it gets.

I am going back for 2 classes this Friday and then sticking around for the after party so to speak.  I got my Friday night planned out. If you are still with me here, this post is called 're-start squared' for a reason.  Besides Hapkido, I started going back to the gym too.  Joined for the year, gonna get back in shape.  Went today, used a trainer for the first time since it's free....Didn't like it.  Maybe do my own thing next time.  Watch out ABS here I come.

Monday, April 5, 2010

FINALLY

FINALLY 70 DEGREES AND SUNNY!  It's been raining for what seems an eternity.  80% of the days I've been here it's been peeing from the sky.  Now finally it's freaking nice outside and I can use my bike! 

The previous bike I bought was not exactly what I wanted so I got it fixed up and I'm giving it to my 'sister' for her birthday.  I bought this nice one from my fiancee's bass player and now I'm rocking it out lovely.

In other news, I got an extra class, and next month another one added on... I'm not too happy about it but I'm hoping this class adding stops.  Today one of the 2 kids in my after school class had an attitude attack after I told her should couldn't eat in the classroom.  First day, first problem.  She tried to make me feel bad by crying, but I told her it wouldn't work and if she needed she could go to the office.  She stopped and started participating.  I'm getting good at this. 

In my last 5 year old class during the 'stand up sit down' chant, one of the cuter girls in the class kept standing up when she was suppose to, but then ran over to me and buried her head in my lap and cracked up.  I hesitated too long to correct her and sit her down because I was laughing and she was so happy.  It was cute but it started a domino effect.  About 10 of the 15 kids stood up and charged.  All the while tripping on each other to race for the closest spot.  At this moment, the Korean teacher wasn't in the room (which is not usual for this class), and it took me a good 5 minutes to get them to sit down and not charge me every time they stood up.  Some kids are lucky they are adorable...Kinda like Flora, who thinks everything I do is the funniest thing in the world.  She cracks up constantly, and then stops when she realizes nobody else is laughing except her Korean teacher and I.  

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eagle Man Randy??

Use Somebody-Kings Of Leon.  This one was def. fun

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Eagle Man Randy Live At Communes. Red Hot Chili Peppers- Under the bridge

Under the bridge by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Performed by Eagle Man Randy.  I like the big Jim head in the background.  More practice is needed but let me know what you think about the prelim performance.

A Beastly Burden

This happened 2 days ago but I was singing at a bar last night and too busy to write yesterday.

The lady in charge of my side of the school (a.k.a my boss-ish) called me out into the hallway by the front doors. She was standing with a parent and she doesn't speak any English, so I thought that she wanted me to talk to him. I said hello and was about to go for the hand shake, when she pointed to the doors. I looked over and was taken aback a little bit because, laying there comfortably, were 3 beasts. One was a HUGE Alaskan Malamute, the other a pretty big Golden Retriever, and the last was a completely white Bull Terrier puppy. Since I am the only man in the whole building, I assumed she wanted me to get rid of them.

I went to open the doors and they were locked. The ladies got so scared they locked the doors so the dogs couldn't get in. You need to know that the normal size of a dog in Korea is something similar to a notebook. All Yorkies, or uglies, or shities. I don't know, but I hate small dogs. I unlocked the doors and walked out. They stood up and kinda looked at me. The puppy tried to get in but he was met with a shove from my foot. They were friendly enough so I tried to get rid of them. I got them half way down the block and then went back to my school. They followed me back. I knew this wasn't going to be easy.

The two big ones had collars on, but no tags for their owners. All three were expensive pure bred (from what I could see )dogs so they had to be owned. By this time all the free teachers and students were gathered by the door watching me. I had a hell of an audience. There is a police station across the street so I grabbed the collars, and a frightened co-worker and made my way across to the station. The puppy didn't have a collar but she followed everywhere the big ones went. I got to the station and the police, the "public servants", basically refused to help. They turned us away and said they saw them running around the parking lot.

Honestly, in this country, the police are a big joke. If they didn't carry guns, I would take them negatively serious, if that is even possible. They don't do shit, ever. Once I saw them drag a passed out drunk guy across the street, only to lay him on a bench and walk away. How manly can you be if you walk down the street in a group, 2 by 2, while holding hands. I even rode my motorcycle around the country for 2 years without a license plate and never even got stopped once, while giving them plenty of opportunities. BUT, for some reason the only thing they care about is when you cross the street when you don't have a light. Pitiful really.

Anyway back to the story. After they shooed us away I walked around with these two monsters a little more, holding their collars by the metal D ring with one finger. They were pulling and it was hurting, but if I let them go they would either run back to my school or get hit by a car. I knew there was an animal hospital close by but it was 10 minutes walk, and the dogs were getting tired of me dragging them around. I had class in about 10 minutes and I had to get back. I had no choice but to let them go and hope they would run home using that 6th sense everyone keeps talking about. I let them go, and because they were probably angry at me, they ran into the parking lot and out of view...Better than the street. I didn't see them again, but hopefully they got home safe.

I was regarded as a hero for the rest of the day. Definitely brownie points with my boss...ish.
I wanted that Bull Terrier puppy so badly.