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Ugh... TO

it'll be even worse when they move to Toronto in a few years. I've chosen to start calling them the Toruffalo Bills for the time being. I've come up with a couple different ideas as to why Ralph Wilson might've signed TO. #1, the Bills aren't a popular team in the NFL, meaning they are probably in the bottom 5 for jerseys, hats, shirts, inflatable coaches sold. By signing TO you get instant recognization and maybe a touch more credibility as far as contending for a division title/playoff birth. Ofcourse I can't watch ESPN over here but I can tell you I've seen more poll question and articles about the Bills in the past 4 days than I did all of last season from ESPN.com. #2 Ralph Wilson genuinely thinks TO will help the team win, Wilson's about 90 years old, he's the only owner who has seen every single hall of fame player and coach actually involved in the game at one time or another. He's on his way out the door and wants to see the Bills competitive for atleast one year before he croaks. Depending on TO's behavior, that could be sooner rather than later. #3 and I feel like this is the most likely, he's old and senile, he forgot to take his medication and in his state of delirium he thought he was at a McDonald's drive thru ordering a McFish but it was actually a meeting with Drew Rosenhaus and he ended up buying a $6 million McFish value meal. For the past 10 years the Bills have more or less been only a few parts away from contending for the division. During most of that time the Patriots have been dominating the division and conference so rarely did they actually have a chance to cause some damage in the playoffs. Terrell Owens does give them a deep receiving threat that they haven't had since they released Andre Reed but all the other crap that he also brings to the team just doesn't seem to justify it. The main thing they have going for them is that like Stephon Marbury signing with the Celtics, this might be their last shot at redemption, otherwise teams will see that they truly are damaged goods and are better off left sitting on the discount rack then putting them in their shopping cart. Only time will tell on this one but all I can say is that he looks really really strange in a Bills hat. Just like Montana Chiefs uniform, Jordan in a Wizards uniform or Charlie Manuel in any uniform.

This past Saturday was the Beer Pong Championship at Rhythm N Booze and The Zach Attack and myself took the trophy and cash prize with a 5-0 record in a double elimination tournament. Good times were had and quesadillas were consumed.

Movies I've seen recently and a one sentence review of each:

1. Gran Torino, badass movie and possibly Eastwood's best, anytime you cheer for a racist you know you've found a good formula for a movie.

2. Burn After Reading, should be called Burn After Watching, the Coen brothers are drinking their own Kool-Aid at this point in their career, it just hasn't killed them yet.*

3. The Kingdom, Jamie Foxx's 2nd best movie after Collateral, shows major tensions in Saudi Arabia and what happens when you fuck with Jason Bateman.

4. Slumdog Millionaire, worthy of winning the Best Picture award, hits you on almost every emotional level and anytime a kid is willing to fall into a pool of shit for an autograph you know it'll atleast be entertaining.

5. Taken, who knew Liam Neeson could jump off a bridge, do a barrel roll onto a moving boat and kill a bunch of Albanians, not I.

6. New Jack City, hadn't seen it in a long time and shows what happens when people feel like they aren't making enough money off of coke and decide to switch to the crack market.

7. White Men Can't Jump, apparently I was going through a Wesley Snipes phase, the only thing missing was Passenger 57, Woody Harrelson is white, I mean really really white, he makes Bryant Gumbel actually seem black.

*It should be noted that I actually had to pause Burn After Reading halfway through to look for the plot of it on imdb.com because I was so incredibly lost in the sea of stupidity that I literally had no idea what the hell I was watching. Sadly, the plot was actually what I thought it was, I just can't believe they were able to extend it to 100 minutes when it could've been a 3 minute internet movie. There was one tolerable character in the entire movie and it's the intelligence boss who only has about 10 lines and it's in the last 15 minutes.

Ok so maybe I used too many commas but I said one sentence, I never said it would be a gramatically correct sentence.

Intrigued in Incheon

Random Thoughts

So things didn't exactly turn out as I had hoped in trivia last night so instead of documenting our dominance in the trivia arena you're being forced to read whatever the heck happens to come out of my head for the next 30 minutes or so. Just for the record, we lost by 2 points last night, not bad since we dug ourselves a pretty deep hole after the first round which was theatre. Friggin theatre, really? How is that a category? I don't know Molier but I can tell you I don't like him. This will cause some drama but Shakespeare is overrated and Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn't deserve to clean my gym socks. Ok, ALW is a cool dude and I dig Magical Mr. Mistoffelees but everything else...blaaaaaah! Ok, I've said my peace.

Korean kids whine, Korean women really whine, and I don't even know how to classify the god awful noises that come out of elderly Korean women but it causes glasses to crack if they are within 20 feet of the shrieking Korean banshees.

Over the past 62 days, I've eaten Chinese food 12 times for lunch, had Lotteria (more on this in a second) 9 times, spent 10 amazing days in Thailand, I've watched 8 Celtics games, read no less than 50 articles about the Red Sox and Spring Training, I've seen an interview 6 times of Alex Rodriguez saying he used steroids for a 3 year period but being convinced he still wasn't telling the whole truth, been on a winning trivia team 6 times spanning an 8 week period. All of the things listed have occured more frequently than the amount of classes I've taught in the same time period. I've taught 5 classes in 2+ months and I've been asked more than once if I'm actually paid to screw around on facebook and drink and I have a definitive answer. Yes. This comes to an end on Monday which I'm happy about, I need structure in my life, badly.

I was warned that my school might possibly break up the greatest tandem since Wayne and Garth, which would be Jang and myself. At the start of a new semester there's the potential for a new co-teacher to be given to the native english speaking teacher. Luckily for the sake of the school they allowed Jang and I to continue to break down language and cultural barriers like we're David Hasselhoff tearing down the Berlin Wall.
 
Lotteria, the Korean equivalent is own by the Lotte Corporation. The Lotte Corp is responsible for departments stores, gum, juice, and crappy hamburgers made with Australian beef. I love Australia but I don't like the beef they're shipping to Korea. Lotte sells the kind of french fries that they would sell at a baseball field where Little League is played, they also sell squid rings instead of onion rings and tend to cover all the sandwiches with a god awful brown sauce that's supposed to be sweet and sour but comes off tasting like sewage waste coming from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

Koreans love America and each man or woman wants to sleep with Barack Obama...twice but for reasons which they don't even fully understand, they hate American beef. America's had 1 case of Mad Cow Disease in like 10 years but because of that one case they think they will all die if they ingest American beef. Beef in this country is not good, infact I don't even know what to compare it to, and this is coming from someone who just compared a sauce to nuclear waste. The beef is essentially that bad.

This Saturday night I'll be going to Hooters in Seoul for my first taste of buffalo wings in over 6 months. I've gone roughly 185 days without buffalo wings which isn't cool, not one bit, not at all. But I'm curious about the Korean waitstaff, the female population of this country doesn't exactly fill out a sweater but to be completely honest, I'm way more focused on actually getting to eat wings than any of the peripheral stuff that will be going on. Wings on the bone, wings off the bone, doesn't really matter, it's wings and sauce and bleu cheese and that's what's up.

Tonight I will be engaging in my 4th Century Club and we're going for 125. For those of you who might be unaware, we will be doing 1 shot of beer for 125 consecutive minutes adn that will equal roughly 8.5 beers in two hours. The beer's not the problem, the carbonation is as it fills you up and only will power will allow you to succeed in this event. If you attempt this, don't eat within 2 hours of beginning otherwise it'll get ugly, just trust me on this.

If students misbehave at my school, the disciplinarian who's a physics teacher, makes the students crab walk around the entire perimeter of the school. Students will always make sure their shirts are tucked in and they aren't tardy, I promise you this much.

I've reconnected with a few people from the past in the last couple of weeks and it's helped me to realize that when you're close with someone it really doesn't matter how long it's been because that chemistry never goes away. The same things you thought when you were 16 are still funny at 26 plus you can laugh at how stupid you may have been and how lucky you were to survive some of the things that your stupidity got you into. Knowing that they're doing ok and living a happy life isn't a good thing, it's a great thing. I'm looking forward to getting back and catching up in real time and not world wide web time.

Lost and 24 are both on fire right now and if anyone disagrees then you can just shut your big yapper. Benjamin Linus on Lost might be the greatest bad guy in the history of television. Better than Montgomery Burns, JR Ewing, Dr. Smith, Antoine Mitchell, Klingons or Sleestaks.


Have a good weekend peeps.

Intrigued in Incheon

Lay Lady Lay

I thought it was fitting that since Valentine's Day is tomorrow that this would be an appropriate time to introduce the blogosphere to my lady friend. Bob Dylan, one of my favorite musicians all time is credited for the title of the blog as Lay Lady Lay is an awesome song, chiggity check out the lyrics here if you're feelin froggy. http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/bob+dylan/lay+lady+lay_20021168.html


Amanda and I met through a facebook group I belong to that was created when our group of teachers came over to Korea so we could discuss any and everything going on in the peninsula. She wanted some insider info on what was going on over here and I did my best to provide her with some info. We exchanged a few messages and I told her to touch base with me when she arrived and if she needed a tour I'd do my best to oblige. I'll be honest, when I saw a couple pics of her on facebook I thought she was pretty cute and very funny in her messages and I hoped that at some point she'd take me up on the tour offer. She arrived in early October and we kept missing each other, we'd send messages back and forth about grabbing drinks but usually the other person wasn't around a computer when the invite was sent. Most of us didn't have phones in our first month or so of being here so the internet was our only form of communication, kinda makes you appreciate cell phones, or phones in general a lot more. We finally met on Halloween night at a party that a bar was throwing for all of the foreign teachers in the area. I was dressed as a Man of Genius, we decided that the theme would be class and comfort. I had a bathrobe, dress pants, dress shoes, pimp hat and cigar, along with a book of quotes from Sir Winston Churchill. She got to the bar and was a sassily dressed Snow White. I don't think sassily is a word, but her costume was worthy of a new word. We both recognized each other and said hello, but let's be honest here, you can talk to someone online all ya want but there's always a slight touch of awkwardness in a first meeting. We talked for a few minutes here and there but conversation was difficult since the bar was packed. I ended up leaving early so I could get to the Fear Factor competition but before I left I told her to make the journey since it would probably be an amusing show having to watch me ingest silk worms and whatever else they threw at me. I got a call an hour later and it was Dynesy, she was lost in a cab and I offered to go meet her on the street. She came running across the street without her shoes on (she's never been a fan of heels) and we headed into the bar. The Fear Factor thing started, I eventually won and proceeded to gross out most if not all of the bar patrons. Looking back on it, if she was willing to talk to me after having been in that competition I should've known then I'd have a chance with her. The next week was a ball of tension as it was Election week in the States and I was in Obama mode. The weekend after the election, I was on the train home from playing bball with a bunch of Korean gangstas and I decided to shoot her a text and ask if she wanted to grab dinner. I didn't get a response back and chalked it up to another rejection. Later that night she was online and jokingly I gave her crap about ignoring me, she then told me she had responded but I didn't get the text. Apparently phones in Korea are retarded and you can only send 100 characters at a time, her text had been over that amount and that's why I hadn't received it. As I'm typing this now, I realize this might be really boring for you to read but deal with it, this little lady means a lot to me and I felt the need to tell this story. Not all of my blogs can be about drunken tomfoolery. 

We made plans for bbq and drinks and called it a night. At dinner, the conversation flowed easily and all the required questions were asked, friends, family, school, music, movies, blah blah blah, you get the idea. We ended up staying out much later than I had expected but I don't think either of us were complaining and I got a hug good night. Hey, atleast it wasn't a slap across the face right? We actually went out 3 times before we realized that they were infact dates, I've never been a quick one and she probably had one foot out the door each time we were together until she realized that I wasn't a complete psycho, just partial psycho. 

Time for the tale of the tape. She's 24, brown hair, killer brown eyes, awesome smile and her straight teeth make up for the massive gaps between mine. Rumor is the Titanic would've fit between my two front teeth. She's played soccer every year since she was basically born and played all 4 years while she was at her University. She's a certified elementary school teacher in Canada and is as good with kids as anyone I've ever seen. Some of her favorite movies include Pulp Fiction and The Usual Suspects. I've turned her into a Lost junkie and she's turned me into a fan of Jon Lajoie. check out these links:  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PsnxDQvQpw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqXi8WmQ_WM&feature=channel
She's from an area just outside of Barrie, Ontario called Sugar Bush (I couldn't have made that up even if I tried) She's a die hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, she's atleast heard of the Red Sox and I will begin to educate her on the greatest franchise in professional sports very soon. She's also probably one of the nicest people I've ever met and went above and beyond to make sure that a few of us had an awesome Christmas even though we were all a little homesick. I like her, I've decided to keep her around for a while, I think it's a good decision on my part, and one day she can become my sugar mama.

Happy V-Day peeps.

Intrigued in Incheon
Just realized it's been 3 weeks since my last post, apologies all around. It's tough getting back into a rhythm after you haven't done something for an extended period of time. Much like today, where I've have my first full day of classes since the last week of December. I'm going to do my best to replay the events that took place between 3:52pm and 6:22 yesterday afternoon/evening.

Chitty Chitty Jang Jang came into my class around 2, right after I'd gotten back from a nice little 2 hour lunch break to inform me that teachers would be eating eel after school today. Since my last foray with eel was so successful I figured I'd give it another whirl. He comes up to my room at around 3:30 and told me that the meal was starting early and that I should make my way down, I finished off an email and then made my way downstairs. I was walking to where I thought the meal would be, the cafeteria, silly me ofcourse, it was taking place in the electrical room in the basement. Logical place to grill eel I suppose. As I was lead into the room I froze in my place because all I could see on the table were about 15 bottles of soju. Little back story, I participated in an evening of Soju ladleing last Friday and have since sworn off the stuff because it's just gross. It's had a certain ohhhhh and ahhhh factor when I first arrived on the peninsula but since then the feelings of ooh and ahh have been replaced by feelings of sheer terror. The ladleing kicked my ass and left me not wanting to smell alcohol for atleast several days, my ban on booze abruptly ended at 3:49 yesterday afternoon. There is another Jang at my school, he's a gym teacher and the school drinking pro. As soon as I walked into the room he walked up, gave my a double shot (which I almost threw back up) and then proceeded to kiss my face more times than any man outside of gay porn should be allowed to do. I sat down and started to enjoy the eel. Just as a refresher, eel has a stigma of enhancing male performance and errrrr stamina if you will so it's considered a delicacy in Korea. A kilogram costs an astounding 20,000 won or about $15-16. Which puts it way above lobsters markey value in most parts of the states. I was one of 11 people sitting in the electrical room and ofcourse I felt the need to dub us Ocean's 11 with jang being George Clooney. If I had to pick a character for myself I suppose I'd go with Don Cheadle from the movie, mainly because he was in Boogie Nights and he was the bomb expert in the movie and just smelling the soju made me feel like Hiroshima and Nagasaki were about to be recreated in my innerds.

After the Soju was gone, the sent out the youngest teachers for a run to the store to pick up more supplies, I then requested Mekju (beer) since this was the only way I thought I'd be able to survive the next couple of hours with these animals. Jang 2 then requested I give him a cigarette, five minutes later another cigarette, five minutes later a cigarette, you get the idea. Now would be a good time to mention that it was only male teachers who were drinking and feasting on school grounds... in the electrical room, which by the way was indoors with very little ventilation, again, a great place for an indoor grill and 11 chain smokers. As the room fishbowled or hotboxed with tobacco and sizzling fish flesh, a teacher who ahd disapeared came back with what could only be described as the most frightened woman in the world. She looked like the lawyer from the first Jurassic Park who was sitting on the toilet right before the Tyrannasaurus Rex ate him. This woman definitely thought she was about to be devoured. To make matters worse, I was told that she was an assistant teacher frsh out of college and only 22 years old. Jang 2 or Brad Pitt as I will now call him and another teacher who is Casey Affleck's character tried to seduce her or maybe just make her feel incredibly uncomfortable by putting eel in lettuce wraps and force feeding it to her. She took two bites and then ran a 3.2 second 40 yard dash to the other side of the school and as far away from this Motley Crue as humanly possible. Last I heard, she quit teaching and joined a convent somewhere far far away. I asked my vice principal who had his hand in a cast, what had happened. He told me he had a nasty fall and sprained his wrist, I sympathized and told him of my knee injuries, and this is when the afternoon turned into a scene from Jaws. Next thing you know all the guys are comparing scars, but just like Richard Dreyfuss, I topped them all when I showed off my broken heart from Mary Ellen Moffett. After this the men turn their affection towards me and I proceeded to be kissed an additional 3 times and was called hyung (brother) for a solid 10 minutes. I tried to temper my drinking because I wasn't feeling right for numerous obvious reasons at this point. Listen I enjoy the man love or bromance as some call it, but I was going to have to start charging these guys by the hour if things continued at their current pace. I tried to make my exit a couple times but was unsuccessful as they wanted to take me out to a bar til god knows what time at night. I finally had to force the issue and made up an excuse about really needing to leave and they obliged. Right as I was putting on my backpack a really nice guy who doesn't seem to have much luck with the ladies came up to me and mumbled something about giving him advice with women. He probably chose one of the worst migooks to ask about the topic but I told him to make them laugh, I hear women really like that. I also told him to slow it down on grandpa's sauce beause women don't like a guy who's constantly drunk, wouldn't ya know it, he said that was the major complaint of the women he had dated in the past. Talk about a newsflash. So I repeated myself on relaxing on the booze and I made my way home. I got back a little before 7, screwed around online for a little while, ate a top notch PB and J, finished off one of the best books I've ever read (Slaughterhouse 5) and passed out by 9. All in all, just another day on the peninsula.

I will be writing about my exploits and adventures in Thailand soon, I just need to get a little more down time and organize my thoughts on what exaclty took place during vacation.

Intrigued in Incheon

Things I've Learned and Thailand

1. Seaweed soup is a great way for women to produce breast milk
2. Eel is good for booosting sexual power in men
3. When a child is born a family will hang a rope strung with red peppers and charcoal around the mother's bed in the hospital. Red Pepper is for a boy and charcoal is for a girl. once the child is born they will either remove the pepper or charcoal depending on the sex of the child.
4. If a Korean soldier gives shoes as a present to his girlfriend when he is leaving to serve in the military, he's basically telling her she can walk out of the relationship and find a new man.
5. If you have chickes on your farm in Korea and they are loud, it will lower your home value and bring shame upon the woman of the household. Apparently women over here not only need to take care of their men but the chickes as well.
6. American cars are almost impossible to find over here, one reason is because they are incredibly expensive to import the other? They suck when it comes to the environment. Most Koreans care more about global warming and greenhouse gases than driving around a Jeep Wrangler that gets 15 mpg.
7. Male Korean students act like female American students. They play with each other's hair, wear more pink than Didi from Grease and have been known to lie down with their heads in their friend's laps. Ok, so maybe female students don't do the last one in America but it's just weird.
8. When the school is on winter vacation (9 weeks) we are still required to come to school everyday 830-430 and do nothing, but yet I am the only one here right now. The only exception to this is when we actually get to go on vacation. Case in point I will be on a plane to Thailand in 23 hours and 25 minutes.
9. Koreans are incredibly lazy when it comes to cooking, very rarely will the chop up their vegetables, and they NEVER remove the bones from fish when cooking it. The word filet is completely unknown to these people. Try taking a bite into a nice peice of herring and feeling 50 tiny bones puncturing the roof of your mouth.
10.Koreans invite me out to dinner with them just to see if I'm capable of using chopsticks.  They then wait to see me drop food on my lap or spill something. They have been disapointed thus far, Boo Yah!

Thailand is tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it, it's going to be nice to get away from the peninsula for a little while. Almost all of the teachers that I came over here with have either left or will be leaving by the end of the week. Some people have gone to Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and China. From what I've seen the average weather on a day in Thailand this time of year is about 85 degrees, mostly sunny with a little wind. We've been able to secure a hotel room at the Trang Hotel for the first night and it's only costing us about $12 per person. We'll be spending atleast 2 nights in Bangkok and then move down to a beach which is roughly an hour away. That's where it'll get a little expensive though, typically it costs about $7 a night to stay there, luckily I've been saving my money. Some of the things we can do while there are cliff and scuba diving, elephant rides in the jungle, ping pong shows and cobra shows. English is one of the dominant languages there so communication should be much easier there than it is here which is a very good thing.

One last thing: Barack Obama is now the President of the United States of America!!!!!!!

Fucking A that's amazing.

Question of the Day

Q: What do a rainbow sherbert brownie sundae and Jack Bauer have in Common?
A: The both successfully challenge conventional wisdom.

Allow me to explain, now at first sound, hearing rainbow sherbert, brownie, chocolate sauce, and strawberries might lead people to the conclusion that all the alcohol in this country has finally lead me to fall off the deep end but I challenge that thought with this, have you ever tried it? The flavors might sound a little bizarre but I'm sure at one point in history people probably thought that dough, a dairy product and meat from a dead pig was probably pretty gross also but yet millions of pizzas are now consumed daily across the the world. There are few things in the world that I enjoy more than a quality sherbert, can't really tell you where it all started, perhaps it was the Carvel ice cream store near my hosue in Bridgeport, CT where I grew up but all I know is, it tastes damn good. Next step, who doesn't like chocolate? If you're thinking to yourself that you don't then maybe you should just move to Russia with all the other commie bastards. Strawberries are tasty little treats and anything that contains fruit must be healthy right? Right! So let's now look at the whole picture, delicious ice cream, gooey, chocolatey brownie, and fresh fruit to top it all off, this equation leads me to the conclusion that if there is a God out there, She truly loves me. Next up Jack Bauer, the incomparable slayer of all things evil on the 5th greatest show of my lifetime.

#1= The Simpsons
#2= Sportscenter
#3= The Wonder Years
#4= Lost
#5= 24
The Shield almost make the list but the tie-breaker came down to more attractive family and no one on the Shield came within a country mile of Jack's daughter Kim, played by the insatiable Elisha Cuthbert who also happens to share a birthday with me. So there!

I didn't start to watch the show until season 5 but it took all of 49 seconds to have me completely hooked, I then spent the following Christmas break watching all 4 seasons on DVD in the span of about 9 days, occassionally taking bathroom and food breaks, but I was forced to do so. He's had everyone in the world try to kill him at one point or another but he never stops, never lets up and apparently never sleeps either. He's the world's most functional insomniac. The whole show is geared around his challenging of conventional wisdom, people say the President couldn't be involved in a plot to release nerve gas on the American public but Jack proves them wrong. People say that he's died, twice, but Jack comes back and proves them wrong. People say that no one would ever detonate an atomic bomb in downtown Los Angeles but Jack proves them wrong and stops it in the process. You get the idea. I don't know how he does it, but I don't question it, he's Jack friggin Bauer. What I do know is season 7 just started and he's back at it, better than ever. If you're not watching, do yourself a favor and start, the world needs him.

No onto Korea. I know I promised to write more regularly but I've gotta admit it's been a little tough coming up with new material lately, I don't know if it's blogger's block or what but I've gotten into such a routine and become so used to the everyday goings on in Korea that not much takes me by surprise anymore. Just to let you knwo how difficult it's been to come up with new things to write about I actually debated beating up an elderly man the other day just so I'd have something to write about, all I know is that guy's lucky my train came when it did. My winter camp is going well, I took on a new challenge this week by tutoring one of the science teachers at my school and today's class involved a 2 hour discussion about shopping and I have no idea how I survived it. I did go on a 20 minute rant on the evils of Wal-Mart and I'm pretty sure I scared the teacher during it. Last Thursday my trivia team was victorious and we look to build on that with another victory tomorrow night. The upcoming weekend will be extremely tame as my bank account is in complete lockdown mode due to the upcoming trip to Thailand, only 7 days away!

Be well Boston and beyond,


Intrigued in Incheon

New Year's and Other Random Thoughts

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes, New Year's in Seoul. A magical time of the year, where pretty much nothing is different than say, oh I don't know, ummmm April 10th. It was really hard to tell that December 31st was in fact New Year's Eve. There are other holidays that they take much more seriously such as Chuseok (their Thanksgiving), Foundation Day, Buddha's Birthday, and Chinese (Lunar) New Year. It was really cold also, I mean like really cold.

A group of about 15 of us headed in to Outback Steakhouse for dinner in Seoul which allowed me to follow through on the prediction I had made for myself earlier in the day. The prediction was that I would eat a steak, loaded baked potato, side of rice, side salad with bleu cheese and wash it all down with a Sam Adams. It's great when a plan comes together like this. After zeeee meal we met up with another 20 or so people and slowly made our way to Seoul City Hall where the New Year's festivities would take place. One of the things i thing I've forgotten to mention so far is that whenever we're in Seoul on the weekends, riot police line the major roads. Why? I have no idea, there's hardly ever any crime, so much so where none of the bars we go to have bouncers. Both sides of the street were lined with cops, but they're not very intimidating. Most of them look about 15 years old and they're always smiling, what the hell is up with that? Our group slowly started to dissipate as we were walking because it's basically impossible to keep 40 people together when there's about 1 million people surrounding you. One other thing, Koreans are pushy, really friggin pushy almost to the point where you want to turn around and take a swing at them. If you've got 1 million people shoulder to shoulder, where the hell do you expect to go? The answer is nowhere but apparently they don't understand this, I don't know why. After the celebrations Amanda and I were able to meet up with everyone else and we proceeded to head to Hongdae with is the college/ major bar area of Seoul. I'm sure you won't believe me when I tell you this but I was completely stone-sober at 2am. I know, you're all disapointed with me and I apologize but no worries because once we finally made it to a bar that wasn't completely overflowing with people, I caught up with everyone else. I also ate my first falafal (spelling?) and it was delicious. We left Seoul at around 6am and finally walked into my apartment at 730 and passed out at 8.

I'm currently in the first week of my 2 week winter camps at school. Korean school schedules are much different from U.S. schools. Our last real day of school was December 30th and then winter camps started on January 5th. Camps go through the 21st for me then I get two weeks of vacation and I get to spend it on Thailand which will be explained in a different blog. Then I'm back to work on February 3rd (took the 2nd off so I can watch teh Super Bowl which is on at 8am on Monday morning for us). But I won't have an classes to teach as far as I know until March 2nd when we're back to a normal full day school schedule. So from what I know right now, I'll just be sitting at my desk for almost a month basically watching movies and tv shows all day. Yes, I actually get paid to do this.

I watched Dark Knight yesterday for the 2nd time (saw it in the theater) and while this may be a little controversial this is the conclusion I've come to about Heath Ledger. I think he didn't have an accidental overdose, I think he killed himself. He knew that he would never have a better role/performance in his life and he wanted to go out with a BIG BIG BANG and he chose to do it right after the completion of the movie. Buzz was already building about his performance and he thought to himself "self, I don't want to do the sequel to 10 Things I Hate about you, so how bout we take a couple pills, drink a little vino and good to sleep." Call me crazy but this is what I think.

On that positive note I will say good day to you all.

As always,

Intrigued in Incheon
Many of the peeps in Korea had been feeling homesick with the holidays approaching (even I was bit by the bug for a couple hours early in the week so we planned 48 hours of festivities on Christmas Eve and Day to keep our minds off of being away from home. In honor of the triumphant return of Jack Bauer and 24, the following events take place in real time.

December 24th 3:45pm
I made an executive decision to tell Jang I needed to leave early for "banking" and skipped out on the last 45 minutes of work. Banking is code for wanting to get the hell out of Dodge and relax for a little while.
4:18pm
Walk in the door to chez Schlossberg and turn on el computadora (french and spanish in the same sentence, I'm just that good). My Christmas/ Hanukkah playlist begins with "Carol of the Bells" by Transiberian Orchestra. I then enjoy a couple cookies/brownies courtesy of Shelley Pelletier with an assist from express overseas shipping.
5:15
With the impending arrival of Lord Peter of Thornberry and Amanda "The Canuck" Dynes I hop in the shower and give my dome a good holiday bicing. A smooth head is essential to spreading holiday cheer throughout the peninsula.
6:02
With the Celtics riding the wave of a 19 game winning streak I make executive decision #2 of the day and decide to toss on my Celtics shirt for bragging rights (while Santa Claus and His Old Lady by Cheech and Chong plays in the background). Dynesy and General Thornwallis arrive within a few minutes of each other.
6:12
 small talk commenses between us, "How bout this weather? "How was your day?" ""Ovaltine really is delicious!"
6:54
We embark on a journey to G7 where we had space put aside for us to eat, drink and be merry (whatever the hell that means) I mean who really uses the word "merry" in normal conversation these days? Are there any other words that are only used seasonally besides "merry"? In the 2.4 seconds I just spent thinking about it, I couldn't come up with another one, perhaps you'll have better luck than I.
7:51
After the longest cab ride in the history of what should've only taken 12 minutes but instead too 58 minutes we arrive a little too fashionably for my liking and try to put a plate of food together out of what was left by the savages who had arrived before us.
8:33
Joe Halfin calls me over and I notice he's got a cake with 4 candles sticking out of it, I quickly deduce that this is a makeshift menorah and we perform the traditional prayer along with a few assorted lookers-on.
9:24
I say goodbye to G7 forever (last week our group lead by the virtuoso musicians the What If's put on a charity event where we raised close to $1000 dollars for underprivileged kids in Korea, many people also brought in presents and t-shirts were on sale with all proceeds going to the orphanage. Nice gesture by the band and everyone who participated but the owner of the bar, a spitfire by the name of Tasha gave the guys crap for not doing enough for the orphanage. Who the hell does that? She's dumb, nuff said, there are 7,561 other bars in the area for us to go to and sink out monthly pay checks into, G7 will not be missed I assure you.
9:55
We meet up with various characters at N's pub, including but not limited to members of the Men of Genius, their lady friends and about 30 other beautiful bastards that did nothing but enhance the good times we were already in the midst of.
9:56-12:37
as;lkghurapng;kdjfbnfmnbiurpietyoigun;dfkjnb;dslfkjgkfgaldkfng (you get the idea). I do recall wishing everyone a Merry Christmas at midnight and shortly after Amanda, Dr. Thornenstein, Chrissy and I made our way back to my place for a Christmas sleepover. We all stopped at the convenience store infront of my building where one of the coolest dudes in the world happens to be employed. If I didn't shave my head I would have more hair than this dude which automatically makes his likeable in my book. We all bought various kinds of junk food, I went with the Chinese noodles and Dr Pepper, Dynesy grabbed some Korean Lay's Potato Chips, Chrissy grabbed cookies and water and the good doctor went with the spicy Ramen noodles. None of this was consumed when we walked into my place, I remember boiling water, then deciding I was no longer hungry and dumped the water out, amazingly not spilling any boiling water on the floor or on my person.
December 25th 9:30am
The reason for Christmas; PRESENTS!!!!! I think we were supposed to be celebrating the birth of someone but once I opened up a present containing Reece's Pieces, I lost all perspective on it. Amanda went all out as the perfect den mother and made stockings for all of us including the conspicuously absent Anna "Twin City" Rickert. Laughs were shared, pictures were taken and stomaches were hungry so off to the grocery store we went.
11:17
I decided on our 4 minute walk to Homever that I was going to attempt to create a breakfast menu the likes of which hadn't been seen since the great breakfast cookoff of 19 hundred and 37. The menu consisted of sweet potato homefries complemented with sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms, scramby eggs, Korean bacon (never eat), grilled pineapple and me being a carnivorous mofu I grabbed some steak to cook up as well. The meal would be washed down with legitimate straight from Florida Tropicana OJ. Perhaps I didn't exactly touch the level of greatness on the breakfast cookoff in the year of our lord in 19 hundred and 37 but the effort was there and the meal was enjoyed.
12:02
We break out one of my gifts (Stepbrothers) and enjoyed the comedic stylings of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the attempted to created a business known only as Prestige Worldwide.
12:47-6:59
Lazinesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
7:13
On our way to Jen "Frenchie" Bedore we notice a brand new restaurant that's roughly 7 minutes away from me with the great name of OH! Ba Ma. I don't know what it looks like inside or waht type of food they serve but their marketing techniques have worked on me and I will become a frequent visitor of said establishment.
8:00
Dinner was excellent, salads, spiked egg nog, chicken, baguettes, veggies n dip, a tofu bonanza, sauteed vegetables, and for dessert cake and hilshire farms cheeses. Say what you will about Hilshire Farms (I like it) but when you've been almost completely without real cheese in 4 months, the stuff is amazing.
10:30
Back at my place with Amanda and Seth "I used to hate everyone but now I love everyone" Freeman. He used to be an angry little Jew but now he's a happy little Jew. Allegedly his family are close with the Krauses of Chicago White Sox fame. Personally, I'd keep that on the DL but to each his own. I can't fault him for it, he cracks me up and that good enough for me. I waxed poetic about the dominance of my fantasy football and basketball teams (I know how much people hate hearing about it but it never stops me).
11:43
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz



My Enemies

I've come across for people/things that have done their best to make my life here a living hell, while coming close on a few occassions I've managed to beat their negativity and overall suckability back like the brave Patriots were able to defend the onslaught of Brits at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Historical side bar: It was fought on Breed's Hill, doesn't matter but I'm just sayin here, ok, back to the musings.

1. Bus Drivers-evil men put on this Earth with the sole purpose of kicking me off in the middle of nowhere on the coldest night of the year because he couldn't understand what I was saying when he asked me where my stop was. Damnit, you're in my country, learn to speak English!!!! Oh wait, nevermind, ummmmm, well they still suck.

2. Cabbies- These guys/dolls love to drive around in circles to run up the meter because they expect us to not know where we are, ohh how they are mistaken. Homie Don't Play That!

3.Khan- This is an evil evil Turkish man who wanted to do nothing more to me on me birthday but set my mouth on fire with a chili sauce on a kebab that I ordered when we were walking to the cab line during my birthday weekend. I asked for a kebab, and he gave me fire in tin foil. I couldn't help but perform an homage to Bill Shatner with a massive KHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yell as I sat in the cab with a 5 alarm fire on my tongue.
Editor's note: Ryan and Khan have since made amends and now Khan provides Ryan with delicious kebabs on the regular.


4. Juice Vending Machine, 1st floor of my school
I choose not to get into specifics on how this began but all you need to know is I will be the one who ends it when all is said and done. It stole my money not once, not twice, but thrice. Some might say it was my fault but I wanted to trust the vending machine and thought that the first couple of times might've just been a misunderstanding, apparently I was mistaken. This hasn't effected my relationship with other vending machines but it has strained it and I'm going to therapy weekly to try and resolve this by peaceful means. I hate this vending machine for not giving me my aloe juice. Whyyyyyyyyyy?????

Wow, I need help.

Goodbye Migooks and Weygooks,

Intrigued in Incheon

The Beer Olympics AKA Sheninagans 2008

The big build up on the peninsula this all week had been coming from the Men of Genius versus Korea in the Beer Olympics at one of our watering holes, Rhythm n Booze. We had assembled a team consisting of Ryan "The man of 1,000 nicknames" Schlossberg, Pete "I've soiled my knickers" Thorn, Zach "TheZach" Smith, Alex "The Sultan of Swill" Bill, Phil "Phillip of Drunkalot" Parfeniuk, and Jeff " Phillipsisms" Phillips. The only missing member was Mike " not related to Rosie Perez" Perez who, I was told, had come down with a stomach bug. Not even the Men of Genius are immune to the ills of the world on occassion. There would be 7 events culminating in the end all, be all event of "The gauntlet", unfortunately this wouldn't come close to touching the greatness of the Real World/Road Rules Gauntet challenge. Unfortunately Phil had partied a little too hard Friday night and was incapacitated all fo Saturday, thus he was unable to participate. Jeff was also unable to do as he was involved with other goings on in Seoul.

Sidebar: In the instruction sheet passed out to all the teams, the players were referred to as athletes multiple times. This made us all feel better about we were going to be doing to our bodies through over the next 5 hours.

The following is my best effort to recreate the events as they unfolded. I think I've decided I need to start bringing a pad of paper and pen with me when I leave my apartment now. I think this is exactly how Hunter S. Thompson got his start, Gonzo journalism in Korea, has a nice ring to it.

Point breakdown of what you could earn depending on finish.
1st- 10 points
2nd- 8points
3rd- 6 points
4th- 4 points
5th- 2 points
6th- 1 point
7th- 0 points and complete embarassment for sucking really badly at life in that particular event.


Event #1- The Pint Chug
The name says it all, one person from each team (7 teams total) would walk up to the bar and poung a pint (18 oz was the actual size) whiled being timed with a stop watch. Fastest time takes first place. Team MOG made the decision to send up Pete, after all, he comes form the land of pints (jolly old England). As fate would have it, a man who can only be named Beer Monster went right before Pete. Beer Monster who from here on out will only be known as BM proceeded to down the 18 oz of liquid refreshment so quickly that he might've done it in negative time. I think the actual time was 3.6 seconds. It takes some people longer to blink than it did for the BM to drink 18 oz of Grandpa's juice. Pete, looking slightly amazed stepped up and pounded in about 6.4 seconds, good enough for last place and we all know what that'll get ya in the Beer Olympics. We were not deterred, the next event would be one where we surely felt it was more than possible to pick up ground.

Event #2- Beirut aka Beer Pong
Played since the days Xerxes and Alexander the Great. Beirut has helped man people find solutions through a typically peaceful medium. The game is simple, 10 cups lined up in a pyramid shape and filled with 2-5 oz of beer depending on the House Rules. Now our rules were altered slightly due to the need to have this turn into a 3 hour event. So 6 cups were filled with water and you had 10 chances to sink to balls, quickest people to do so would advance to the next round in the mini Beirut tourney. I had felt confident in my ability to compete at an olympic level but Alex "The Swill" Bill also felt like he could be the guy to dig us out of the hole. Unfortunately The Swill didn't perform as well as we had all hoped but on the positive side he did earn us a point. I will say one thing about his stlye of toss, the only thing I could sompare it to was that the way his body contorts at the end of his shot can only be described as someone trying to form the letter S. Left leg is flailed out to the right and the right arm flailed out to the left. It's a thing of beauty. So not all was lost since we had a point but the teams in the lead were in the 16-18 point range. Things at this point aren't going how we had pictured them but this thing was far from over. Next up...

Event #3- The Tractor Pull
This event involved one person from each team drinking 2 beers split up between 6 cups as fast as they can. Needing a big momentum swing we sent up The Zach who was displaying the Eye of the Tiger. In fact, if you got close enough to Zach, instead of a heartbeat, you could actually hear Survivor performing, live. Ofcourse, the team who was now in first place, Nafda, featuring the BM, sent up their big gun for this one. Zach stared into the face of evil and laughed. He finished in what was a blistering speed of 11.4 seconds. However the referee/ known only as "orange shirt" said event throw a 3 second penalty at him for spilling a couple measely drips down his chin. Zach's new time was 14.4 and finished just behind the BM. We got 8 points and could feel our confidence building.

Event #4- Boat Race
This event rquired 3 players from each team lined up side by side with two cups each infront of them. Our team consisted of Pete, Zach and I. The rules were simple, player one drinks, once the cup is put back on the table, empty, player two goes, then player 3, player 3 must then drink another beer adn it swings back to player 2, leaving player 1 to drink his final beer, first team to finish advances. In our first match we won by about 2 seconds, in the next round the other team's final player didn't even drink as we had already won. The finals put us up against a team with a player featuring not just one but two popped collars, or as I like to refer to it as the bane of my existence. Such a horrible idea to pop your collar(s), ugh. The fire had been lit up us and we destroyed the other team earning a cool 10 points and now starting to worry teams.

Event #5- Individual Flip Cup
Another game with simple rules, fill a cup up with 2 shots of beer, drink it, place the cup down on the edge of the table and flip it so it ends upside down on the table, you're able to take as many attempts as possible. The following string of events can only be described as god awful. Complete shenanigans and proved to me that the vast right-winged conspiracy that tried to take down the Clintons has now shifted its focus towards ruining my flip cup career, ohhhhh the humanity. Each team supplied to competitiors but it was a completely individual event, meaning a team could end up with people in 1st and 2nd place. We all lined up, someone counted down and the cups went up. I proceeded to flip a cup faster than any one ever has in the history of the entire universe. There are people on tatooine who were amazed at what I had just done. It took all of 3 seconds for me to drink and flip. Our friends who had shown up to cheer us on stood there, their mouth agape. Out of nowhere screaming starts at people arguing over who finished in the top 8. Then orange shirt decides to nullify the first round, split everyone up and do 2 different rounds. I was floored, undoubtedly I finish much faster than everyone else, even the people I was going against agreed but orange shirt wouldn't hear it. He said it didn't matter and I'd be forced to participate in the chirade known as a redo. I lined up for the next go at it, still fuming, in complete disbelieft at the bag job that just taken place. If it couldn't get any worse, I then flipped my cup and finished in what should've been 4th place, good enough to advance to the next round but again, orange shirt still not happy without having attempted to compltely crush my spirit said another player finished "just a hair" quicker than me and I was now out of the competition. Abysmal I say, completely and utterly abysmal. If this was a disease orange shirt suffered from, it could only be called abysmalitis". Zach came up big again and in the name of all things Men of Genius won the competition, giving us 2 consecutive gold medals and catapulting us into the top 3.

Event#6- Team Flip Cup
Same rules only 6 cups are now involved. Depending on your view we either had an advantage of disadvantage. Since our team only had 4 players, Zach and I now needed to drink and flip two cups each. He would start us off and I'd be the anchor. Again we ripped through the field of teams and made our way into the finals. There was a girl on the opposing team who had already ruffled our feathers by being just a straight up bitch. She kicked me off the dart board earlier in the day because she claimed she had already called next game and told our friend Julie she couldn't stand where she was at one point because "she needed space". Their team only had 3 members and she decided to drink 3 cups to make up for it. Zach would be going up against her, he got us off to a slight time advantage but that was quickly erased with the next two cups, then it came down to be and the dude rocking the popped collars. I struggled on my first cup, finally landing it on my 3rd flip. My opponent was already on his last cup but was also struggling, I pounded the beer and in one flip ended it. Celebrations all around, with Pete and Alex more than just going through the motions and they dominated as our middle flippers in the 3 rounds. We had just won our 3rd straight medal and now in the top 2 along with Nafda and the BM.

Event#7- The Gauntlet
Awkward event that had three phases to it. First up, 1 player throws a dart at the board and whatever number it landed on you had to dirnk for that many seconds( doubles and triples did not count). Second, a player rolls a pair of dice or is it die? I never really know with that one. Whatever the number is that shows is how long they have to drink for, 3rd a player must them drink 6 shots of beer and 3 cups of beer filled roughly half way. it was a timed event. We needed a good time but it didn't need to be great for us to take win the inaugural Beer Olympics. I was on darts, Alex on die, and our resident chugging expert Zach on, well, chugging. I was aiming for low numbers obviously but ended up with a disapointing 13, so after drinking for 13 seconds it was up to Alex  who rolled an 10 or 11 I believe, then Zach onto Zach who again didn't disapoint. Our time was good but not great with 45.79 seconds and it was then up to orange shirt to tell us who was victorious. He retreated behind the bar to tally up the score. He slowly made his way to the stage and said the one thing we didn't want to hear. "It was a tie!!!" Men of Genius and Nafda shared the lead and the way to settle the score was with a one beer pound off. Zach vs. BM for all the marbles. At this point it's safe to say I've seen enough to know I've seen too much. Zach put forth another solid effort but just wasn't able to overtake the BM. 2nd place for the MOG and one aggravated Ryan A. Schlossberg. I was inconsolabe for a good while. For our efforts, we received a bottle of Tequilla which we proceeded to empty in aobut 7 minutes.

I'm feeling better about our performance and it truly was an amazing comeback. Great performances all around and I'd do it all over again with the same people. I'm now exhasuted, time for some New England clam chowda. Be well people, keep your eye out for the big fat guy with a beard coming in 4 days.

Intrigued in Incheon

Pepe's

I had an epiphany Sunday afternoon about a money making venture that has the potential to play to the masses. It's definitely got franchise capabilities and can be used in many situations. High School, college, 30,40,50,60 somethings I feel would all be interested in what I'm trying to provide for them. My idea would be a delivery service which provides an all you can eat buffet. Each of my cook's would be known as Pepe, the name just came to me, I'm not one to argue with divine wisdom. I'll try to explain the vision that I had but it might get a little choppy, keep in mind this idea is only about 20 hours old. Below will be my ideal scenario of how I would want this to created. 
 
1. My store front would be located right in the heart of Boston, prefferably in the Fenway or Fanueil Hall area. 
2. My reason for location is that I would also provide a late night option of all you can eat for people leaving the bars who would be dealing with serious bouts of the munchies at that point. Yes I know there's the potential for mucho mess to be created so all tables would have plastic tablecloths and platic chairs, very low maintenance. This would only be available on game nights of Friday and Saturday nights during the offseason.  
3. My menu would consist of upwards of 59 different options of what you can choose from for your own personal buffet. There would be 4 types of ethnic food as far as categories covered.
                     -Continental (burgers, buff wings, steak, pulled pork, ribs, fried chicken, stuffed chicken, numerous side dishes)
                     -Italian (grilled pizza, pasta dishes, antipasto, sausage)
                     -Asian (includes Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai)
                     -Mexican (quesadillas, tacos, burritos, rice, loaded nachos, guacamole)
4. Dessert is also available but would be made at our store beforehand because baking takes too long, we would also make 10 different kids of homemade ice cream.
Now there would be several ways to order, first would be to go with one of the themes, such as only continental or Italian or Mexican. But ordering a la carte is also a possibility, so you could enjoy your own personal U.N. style fiesta. I would offer roughly 24 entree options among the 4 styles and then another 35 possible side dishes to choose from off the menu.
5. How this whole thing work is this: When you wanted to have a fully catered all you can eat buffet for whatever reason you want such as a Grad/frat/sorority/ holiday/anniversary/birthday/backyard/bar mitzvah/wedding/funeral party you would pick up the phone and call Pepe's. We send over one of our cooks (all named Pepe) in a refrigerator/mini kitchen van which would be loaded up with whatever you ordered. Pepe would then toss himself into your kitchen and go to town, the base price I'm thinking as far as per person is about $20. Now this covers 3 hours of Pepe and he would also be available for more hours but it would cost additional money.

Obviously there are a few kinks to work out here, namely trying to convince a bunch of cooks that they need to change their names to Pepe and then having them be able to make upwards of 60 different types of food. Admit it, this isn't as bad of an idea as you might've originally thought about. Ok, maybe it sucks but I think it's gotta chance especially put into a huge city/college town like Boston. Yes I just described Boston as a city and town in the same sentence. Thoughts, ideas, and comments are welcome on this idea.

I'll let you digest all of this,

Intrigued in Incheon