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Elevating my Game

The gauntlet's been thrown down and I am not one to back away from a challenge. It's not in my nature and since I am a patriotic mofo, I won't let Pete out blog me. I've noticed a recent trend as of late where I'll post a blog and then miraculously a few hours later Lord Thorn will have a new posting as well. It's gone on far too long for it to be somply a coicindence, it's intentional damnit. I hope you're reading this Thorn, all bets are off, we're going to the mattresses. So expect a slew of entries in the coming weeks, I will now be dedicating time for original blog ideas and perhaps a few surprises along the way. Maybe even a guest blogger.

The week's been pretty laid back so far, it's already Friday afternoon which is great because my last memory was from last Sunday afternoon where I was sitting on the subway lamenting the fact that the weekend was over and now here I am on the cusp of another one. Cusp is a great word, work it into your vocabulary. Do it!

My school had it's first day of final exams and they will continue through next Wednesday. This means that I get be even less productive than I usually am, which basically means I would have to walk to school in loafers, a bathrobe and half of a donut hanging out of my mouth. I've been holed up in my English Zone classroom all day, and am now completely caught up with all of Lost season 4 and ready for the new season to being in about 5 weeks. What an amazing show it is, 2nd greatest show in tv history as far as I'm concerned. Huh? What's that? You want a list of my greatest TV shows of all-time? Why, I had be happy to oblige. Without further ado.
1. The Wonder Years
2. Lost
3. The Simpsons
4. 24
5. The Shield
6. Sportscenter/Baseball Tonight
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (original cartoon)
8. The White Shadow
9. Behind the Music (any band or musician)
10. The Price is Right

Keep in mind these are the best shows that were on at one point or another during my lifetime.

This will be a weekend were I'm going to be invaded by the typicals. Being over come by the typicals can be a really bad thing, it allows for complacency and you become succeptible to being infecting by boredom. However, it should be known that the typicals have always tried to overtake me and they've been beaten back numerous times by the peninsula. Tonight, Chrissy and Anna will be heading down to the gyeyang-gu province where I'm going to be giving them a history lesson on the Korean War. It's going to be a breath of fresh air where I was actually able to do a little historical research instead of printing out word searches and creating new games for english classes. After history class, we'll head to this restaurant that I go to as often as I can because it's awesome and I don't want it to go out of business. Then we'll meander into Bupyeoung where the typical Friday night shenanigans will ensue. Tomorrow during the day will be nice and relaxing, most of the peeps are heading out of Dodge for the weekend, some into Seoul, some on a little trip to a Buddhist temple wher they're gonna convert or something. I wasn't really listening when they were explaining. Sunday I think I'll be playing football on a pitch near Munhak Stadium (where the pro baseball team plays). That means playing soccer on the field by the way. The big events will be taking place, the week will be bookended with an exotic meal with dog as the main course on Monday afternoon with several teachers from school and then on Saturday the 20th, the Men of Genius will be entering a Beer Olympics competition that I'll get much more indepth with next week. Lots of money and prizes on the line and I'll do my best to honor the Red, White, and Blue.

Ok, I'm off to go see if I can catch some of the dirty old men at my school watching adult films in the teacher's room. So dirty...

Have a pissa weekend peeps,

Intrigued in Incheon

Couple of random links for you to check out, adult themed, definitely not appropriate for certain people. Th 3rd clip is good for anyone.  

The Huh Face

So this week in school I've decided to have the students practice writing letters to each other and then speaking them aloud so they can work on writing and speaking. Seems simple and easy enough right? Well my friends allow me to introduce you to the "huh? face". Below is a sample of some of the things they have written to each other, and more often than not leaves me thinking huh???

Note: I have not altered any of this, it is word for beautiful word.

my name is Kyeong Jin.
yesterday P.E. exam a congraturation.
you very small eyes
and you small tall.
but you small face

to Yeon soo
Hi my name is jun hwan
well... well... you are very old
you look like ㅇㅈ댜ㅕㅗㄹ
you are very small haird
you like soccer
Marry Christmas

Dear Wanbin

Hello Wanbin, nice to meet you I'm your friend Jin Young
At first I saw you, you resemble a panda.

Dear Dae Woo
hi! Dae Woo, I'm Tae Min
thursday in you birthday congratulation
my pesent in heart mind
your birthday, I will hit you
but I love you
your good at study and handsome
your moter's friend
bye... dae woo

Last but not least in any way, shape or form.
Hello! Guang min
When I look at you, you have a powerful energy.
You are so very strong, So I'm envy you
Nowadays, weather is crazy cold because falling snow and rainy day.
So, temperature is lower than other days.
Often you looks have bad cold people.
I'm really worry about your healthy.
In fact, I don't worry about your health because you are so stronger than me.
And you study very hard, I'm surprised at you!!
You are all subjects get a 100 points!
Good luck to you! Good bye.

These are my students people, these are the members of the Jakjeon Jungle.

Other things that have also given me the huh? face.
1. Whole crabs in the vat of soup that we take from during lunch. What the hell am I going to do with an entire crab and a pair of chopsticks?
2. Whole fish, bones and all served for lunch. Koreans are lazy, very rarely will the chop up vegetables of 1 in 100 times will you be served a fish that has no bones in it.
3. Spitting, it's all over the place. Indoors, outdoors, between doors, stuff's everywhere. Also, you'll be hard pressed to spend an entire night out regardless of a week day or weekend day and not come across a little puddle of throw up somewhere. Yes I know that's foul, but it's gonna happen more often than not, apparently people in my building have taken to throwing up in my elevator on Saturday nights, sweet.

Sunday was an excellent day, Amanda, Pete, his gf from England Nikki and I all went into Seoul for a trip to Costco. My god I had forgotten what certain things looked like in english. I spent more than I should've but it was all well worth it. I came away with Fiber One bars, appple cinnamon oatmeal (gift from Amanda, greatest gift of all-time by the way), 2 lbs of Pepper Jack cheese, chocolate covered almonds, terryaki sauce, packages of peanut butter crackers, and the ultimate, Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowdahhh. As Borat would say, "Great Success!"

Bon Voyage mes amis.

Intrigued in Incheon


WARNING: This is going to be long, very very long but I needed to get all of this out while it was fresh in my mind. Thanks in advance.

In one of the all-time classic movies Spinal Tap, there's a scene where the band visits Graceland to pay homage to Elvis. They then utter a line about how death can give you perspective and Christopher Guest's character chimes in with "too much bloody perspective". It's been 9 years since I first saw that movie and for some reason that line has resonated with me ever since I saw it. Is there such a thing as too much bloody perspective? I've spent the last 20 minutes sitting on my bed looking out the window just staring off into space and reflecting as I tend to do each year when I have a birthday approaching. I'm not sure when I first started to do it, I think it migt've started on my 15th birthday but I can't really remember for sure. Perpsective is something I value a great deal as it can help you cope, cherish, appreciate, and work through in any situation. For instance, I could've been punched, had a car run over my foot, had food poisoning, my computer breakdown, had any number of people tell me I'm an idiot and an asshole but when compared to the horrible events that have unfolded over the past 3 days in Mumbai, perspective tells me I still had a pretty decent day in the grand scheme of things. Now, thankfully everything I just mentioned about myself didn't happen but if it did, all it would take would be for me to log onto cnn.com, see that families have been destroyed, historic property damaged, and the potential for an impending holy war between hindus and muslims in India and again perspective tells me to be thankful for the situation that I am in. This blog entry is dedicated to the people who've helped to make the person I've become and the person I hope to eventually be for the rest of my life. Without any of these people I wouldn't be who I am and anything I write in here will in no way be able to fully express how appreciative I am for having come in contact with them in my 26 years, whether it's been for a week a month or my entire life, these people to put it simply are fucking awesome. "Lucky Man" by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer just came on my ITunes as I'm typing and while the lyrics aren't very applicable the title says it all for me. I'm not one to have mjaor religious principles but I can't help but use the term blessed when describing my situation. First up will be the doctor who has kept me in tip top shape for the past 18 years or so.

Dr. Pepper- while you and Axl Rose might be having a difference of opinion on your level of greatness, I just want you to know that your 23 mysterious flavors are a masterful blend of the world's perfect ingredients. I find it fitting that you are owned by Snapply because you sir, truly are made from the best stuff on earth. Keep on keepin on.

Chelsea- you are the most amazing person I've ever met and I can't wait for the day when you finally develop common sense. You make me laugh more than anyone else in the world and not a day goes by where I don't brag to anyone within ear shot of how much you continue to amaze me. I love you and I'm the luckiest brother in the world.

Mom and Dad- You both are constantly questioning if you did the right thing as parents while I grew up which I can't help but think that all parents do. Believe me when I say that you were flawless. You'll scoff at that remark but trust me, you're phenominal. Whenever I needed someone to talk to, regardless of the topic, you never once passed judgement and were and continue to always be available when I need you. I promise not to throw you into an old folks home, you are always more than welcome to live with Chelsea and her family. Just as important all of m friends feel the same way and there have been times when it seemed like they would rather hang out with you guys than me, I got over this and appreciated the fact that they were also able to talk out their problems with you if they felt they couldn't go to their parents. I'm one lucky bald dude.

Kurkul and Palleschi- the two guys that have been with me for just about every major moment since I've been 14 years old. It's been a great 12 years and I always find myself wishing that you could both be here in Korea with me but I can't wait to get back to ya and keep creating memories that we'll never tell our future generations of family about. You guys keep the fire burning for me and I'll see you in 9 months.

To the best neighbors I could've ever had, Steve and Brian McNamara. I've known you just as long as anyone and we've had some great times. Steve wth the season tickets for the Celtics last year, watching them march towards a championship with you will be something I look back on with amazement for a very long time. Bri, we started off with you trying to kill me with a tennis ball and have evolved into someone that I'll always share a special bond and probably the only other person in the world who's seen They Live. Roody Rowdy Piper's finest moment no doubt.

LindsEy, LindsAy, Allie, Molly, Sarah, Colleen, Kaylan, Babs, Ashley- My hometown girls, whether you realize it or not, you've all played major roles in my life at one point or another. LindsEy, goes without saying that are and will always be one of my most favorite people in the world, your daily emails from Australia amuse me to no end, but pleaseeee stop with your incorrect spellings. (humour is not right, it's humor). I don't care how long you're in OZ, you're a Boston girl first and foremost. LindsAy, you're constant panic and anxiety attacks help to fuel you to levels of greatness and I am fully convinced you'll continue to rub holes into all of your shirts from now until the day you die, you're the only person I've ever heard use the world chuckle on a consistent basis and I love you for it. Allie, Molly, and Sarah, you're personalities are as different as you are awesome and you helped me get through some rough times, I will always be there for my Lemoyners. Colleen, you're hilarious poems that you used to write in religion class in high school still crack me up to this day and you're newest one for your Christmas party is no exception. Congatulations on Joe Biden, I was just as happy for him as I was proud of all the effort your dad put into his campaign back in the 80's. Kayland and Ashley, future holders on the mother of the year titles for years to come, thank you for being the first two in our group to become responsible in the real world and showing us that there can be more important things than wondering what bar to go to on the weekends. Eventually I will learn this lesson I assure you. Babs, you introduced me to the greatness of McFadden's and dressing properly for a night out in Boston, you also introduced me to the phrase TKD which has come in handy being over here.

Aunt Elon, Kathy, Jan, Ree, Bonnie, Teddy, Laura, you're strong personalities has taught me to never second guess a woman on anything and an easy way to ensure a quick death is to argue with a woman about anything. I'm still completely clueless about women but you've helped to show me the way.

Uncle Hank, Rick, Frank, Dave, Mark, Lenny, Gary, you've shown me how to be a man. How to handle a situation while being smart and responsible. You always keep me on my toes and taught me much of what I know about sports. You've raised great kids and have made all my aunts very happy which means the most to me.

To my SoKo peeps, too many to mention but the past three months have been better than I could've ever imagined. Each weekend provides memories that will last a lifetime and I hope we stay in contact for a long time. To the Men of Genius, each of you bring something different to the group whether it's humor, intelligence or depravity. To the lady migooks Chrissy and Anna, you continue to impress on a daily basis and have been with me on most of our adventures thus far. Can't wait to avoid the riots and protesters that await us in Thailand in January. I told you that unless they kill me first you will both be fine and left unharmed, I meant it, I just hope I'm not forced to prove it while we're there. Amanda, we've only known each other for a little while so far but I must say sneaking that Dr. Pepper in my fridge and surprising everyone with the ice cream cake on Thanksgiving has you off to a really good start with me.

Thank you to everyone who's been reading the blog, it's nice knowing I don't just write this for only myself. I'm going to do my best to keep it as entertaining as possible for you, the chronicles of Ryan shall continue...

Intrigued in Incheon

Eel and Thanksgiving, Sounds Delicious

Last night I was whisked away to a famous restaurant in Seoul that specializes in eel. Something I had never tried before but Koreans rave about its flavor and health benefits. It's low fat, high protein and provides vitamins A, B, D, E. It's also supposed to help with brain function and re-energizes the body. This dinner was being attended by the entire english department of my school along with the mighty God Na, keeper of the rice wine and Soju. Jang-a-Lang didn't waste anytime added interest to the evening, once we pulled into the parking lot he walked me over to a giant wooden statue and gave me a pop quiz. (he likes to do this to me at random times). He said what does it look like, now a few different things popped into my head but with what goes through his head it could've been a rhinocerous or ice cream cone for all I knew, it was all dark out so I couldn't make out the shape at the top of the statue. Mom and aunts, I apologize in advance for the enxt few statements. After standing there dumbfounded for a few moments he let me in on the secret, it was a penis. Apparently eel is famous for boosting virility and stamina. This cracked me up since giant statues of phallic symbols aren't commonplace in the States (except for DC and the Washington Monument). We then entered the restaurant and sat down for a fantastic meal. We had 4 different types of eel which are grilled right the the table and as with all Korean meals, there were numerous sides with unlimited refills. We started off with 3 bottles of rice wine at the table which quickly doubled to 6 with 3 bottles of soju added to the mix. Now in all, there were 9 of us but 3 of the women were pregnant and two of the other women aren't big drinkers. That left 4 of us to drink 9 bottles of alcohol, it started to get messy and amusing. At one point I was told that I was a Korean in a past life (great compliment) and that my name was San Do Jae. I've got no clue what it means, so we can just assume it means handsome man with good dance moves. Na kept referring to me as "this fellow" so every time my glass would be empty he would tell Jiggity Jang to "fill this fellow's glass" It might've been funny because I had a buzz going at the time but he had me cracking up.

So at one point, Jang was going on some sort of rant about something, I really should learn this language. Eventually I figured out kinda what he was talking about. The vice principal has been on his back for the past month about fixing things that aren't his responsibility and he comes to me to vent since even if I wanted to say something to the VP he wouldn't understand it anyway. Jang's new line is "I'm not an engineer, I'm an english teacher!" So after hearing him complain, I put my arm around the loveable lug and said to the group, "Jang, you my friend are no engineer." This got the group laughing and a double shot of Soju poured for me. That was not my intention and I almost had a panic attack because of it, I've decided to no longer try and be funny infront of Koreans. As we were getting ready to leave the restaurant I made a quick pit stop in the bathroom and there right in the middle of the stalls and urinals was a wooden statue of a Tiki God with a penis coming out of its mouth. Friggin Korea, how you continue to amaze me on a daily basis. When we all got outside Jang put his arm around me and says "Lion, I decide we drink tonight". Now here I was thinking that we had just drank for the past two hours, silly me, what wa I thinking? So he brings all of us to another bar where he proceeds to buy $11 bottles of Japaneese piss, I mean beer. Have I mentioned that Jang is the unofficial mayor of Seoul? He then placed some bar snacks infront of me, talk about random, dried kiwi, pretzels, and dried sesame crusted anchioves. I had just had a convo with Amanda the other day about how I'd never had anchioves before, I can no longer make that claim. After all, I was a Korean in a past life so it's in my blood. DON'T EAT DRIED SESAME CRUSTED ANCHIOVES!

Brief history of Asian relations, South Korea doesn't like China, Japan, or North Korea. At one point or another each of those 3 has either controlled the South or attempted to control the South. So to summarize I had Korean eel and Japaneese beer in my stomach, they decided to resume their century old conflict in my innerds. Right as the Samurai launch their first attack somewhere in my small intestines Jang tells me that we're just getting started................... ugh, oye vaye, dios mio, holy crap. After the rest of the group departed and Jang and I were the only ones left standing I ran to the bathroom to dispose of the Lee Dynasty and came out sheepishly and told Jang that I needed to call it a night. Embarassed doesn't even begin to describe how I felt, I brought shame upon my family. He had hired a driving service to take us into parts of Seoul that not many people know about (who knows what I missed out on last night, so very disapointed) so he had the driver drop me off at a train station which left me to navigate the subway. Luckily I had my Ipod and the hour long ride felt like it took 20 minutes. 

I did wake up this morning feeling like 1,000,000 bucks so apparently there are some benefits to eel, Monster hangover cure to say the least. 

The greatest meal of the year is tomorrow night and I am pumped. Shelley "The Matriarch" Pelletier has provided me with stuffing, gravy, and the greatness known as cranberry sauce. I'll be hosting 15-17 people at my apartment and here's ho the menu is shaping up right now.

Anna- Salad
Mike- Mashed Potatoes
Jen B.- Desertesque (sounds like a strip show)
Chrissy- Korean Pancakes
Pete- Red Coat and Knickers with assorted vegetables
Matt- Pork a la Bartolacci
Sam- Mini-apple pie thingy's aka delicious goodness
Julie- E-Mart Chicken #1
Amanda- E-Mart Chicken #2
Jeff- Duck
Jen O.- Garlic bread and spaghetti, a true American Thanksgiving Tradition
Linger- Egg Sandwiches
Addie- Dumplings

So we've got most of our bases covered with the good stuff, I'm still holding out hope that someone shows up with an ice cream cake but not likely.

I like having people over to my place because it gives me a reason to clean up and actually try and make myself and my apartment look presentable. So tonight will be spent parading around my apartment cleaning nooks and crannies so everyone can come over tomorrow night and make a mess. I do have alterior motives for having everyone over my place, because there's no way we're going to finish all the food which means I get leftovers just like back home during Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Intrigued in Incheon

The Weekend

Another well-deserved lazy Sunday night hor yours truly here on the peninsula. The weekend's in the books and I'm going to be enjoying a nice spicy tuna pasta dinner for 1 shortly and watch season 4 of Weeds online. One of the bonuses about not watching TV over here is I have the chance to watch a lot of shows online that I was never able to view when I was in the States. I've become a big fan of Californication, Weeds, and Entourage and am anxiously awaiting the return of Lost and 24. The best show on TV right now, The Shield has 1 episode left and I can say with full confidence that this season of the show might be one of the greatest seasons of any TV in the history of the world. For those of you infamiliar with it, the show chronicles the shenanigans and adventures of the baddest cop on the planet, Vic Mackey, played by Michael Chiklis of The Commish fame. He's also a Bad Boy of Boston with deep love for the Sox and Celtics so clearly he's a righteous mofo. There's no way I can summarize 6 and 12/13ths of the show's history but if you're looking for something to consume your life the check it out. I've been using the website watchtvsitcoms.com but there's also surfthenet.com and channelsurfing.com, any one of these sites has all popular tv shows, music, movies, and even some carry sports events, sometimes live.

Friday night went as expected, Phil's birthday was excellent and he patrolled his apartment and the streets of Bupyeoung with his infamous ladle and a seemingly unlimited supply of Soju, I tried to avoid him as much as possible but I lost count after he had ambushed me about 7 times with it. It was a messy night for most if not all, and several of our peeps didn't get out of bed on Saturday. Not I ofcourse, I've got a reputation to uphold, not sure exactly what that reputation is but whatever it was it forced me into Seoul on Saturday night. There was a minor hiccup during Friday night's festivities, this dude came at Phil at an establishment called N's Bar, no one's sure why but if it had escalated any further the kid would've been in a bad spot as the Men of Genius and our followers were out in full effect and would dealt with him quickly and decisively. All of you know I'm not one for violence, don't see the point to it because even after the fight nothing changes, the people involved will both still hate each other and it's a guarenteed way to kill the good vibes of the social setting you're in. But if an MOG is in trouble I and everyone else won't hesitate to scrap because we've gotta look out for our own. I also realized better late than never, that bouncer's don't exist in this country, there are a few in Seoul but 0 in Incheon. This is because Koreans can drink without issue, but it's up to us Weygooks (foreigners) to police ourselves, so a few guys got in the middle of the potential scrum and quickly defused the situation.

Saturday night we headed into Seoul at 5 for a Korean Queen cover band known as "First Lady". The show was interesting, in what could be conceived as an international first, the bar was closed down during the performance leaving a crowd of 150+ stone sober and listenting intently to Korean Freddy Mercury belting out some serious tunes. The Korean Brian May even had a vintage whig which he wore almost a little too proudly. Korean Freddy Mercury even did 7 different costume changes to reflect the different Freddy Mercury stages of life. The last outfit had the tight white pants, canary colored open jacket and fake mustache, the ony thing missing was the chest hair but we decided to forgive him for the oversight. Almost all the classics were played, "We are the Champion", "I Want to be Free", "We Will Rock You", "Under Pressure", and Bohemian Rhapsody", during the harmoney parts of "Bohemian" the lights were completely turned off and a recorded version of Queen was played since the band didn't have the ability to pull it off on their own but again, they were forgiven. Songs not played included "I Want to Ride my Bicycle" and "Fat Bottomed Girls" but all in all the 2 hour show was worth the $20 price of admission. After the show we enjoyed some Korean Chinese food where I chose to order Chicken Curry. So to recap, Korean country, chinese restaurant, Ryan orders Indian food. Get all that? We evetually made it to a place called Club FF where for the small price of 10,000 won we were allowed unlimited mixed drinks from Midnight to 1am.(Current exchange rate makes that about $6.66 I wish I was making that number up. Now that I think of it, that number seems quite suitable for the establishment we were in.) For fear of scaring family members and loved ones, I won't divulge the actual number of rum and cokes that were consumed by myself, but it was more than 7 and less that 50. The bartenders were either horrified or amazed by my actions, kinda hard to tell when it was all said and done. We met up with a few other people at another place before I made the smartest decision of the night which was to call it a night. Before creating a path of destruction on my way to the cab line, I broke down and enjoyed some much needed (atleast I felt it was at the time) Burger King. My first experience with fast food over here and from what people tell me, BK is much more like the American version than it's advesaries McDonald's and Subway are. A Whopper, Coke, and small french fry later Amanda and I made it back safely to Incheon where I think I started singing Nsync and Backstreet Boys. I woke up around 11 and enjoyed a pizza and coke for lunch and have done as little as humanly possible. I have downloaded some new music but am starting to run out of ideas so if you have any suggestions please throw em at me because I need it.

Hope you crazy kids enjoyed your weekends, go Bills and I will have a monster blog coming your way this Wednesday with an explanation for our Thanksgiving festivities followed by a birthday preview. 26 sounds much worse now than it did when I turned 25 but in the immortal words of one Chelsea Schlossberg, "it could be worse, I could have AIDS. I'll leave you with those words.

Intrigued in Incheon

The Weekend

Let me start off by saying it's cold here, I mean C O L D. I hate the wind, I can't say that strongly enough, it and I are no longer speaking to each other, it's the devil. I was wearing shorts 5 days ago and have since traded them in for pants a sweater, jacket, winter hat and gloves. It snowed here 2 days ago, no accumulation but whenever it snows before my birthday it tends to amplify my seasonal depression.  So this post may turn into a bitch session at any point, I'm fighting the urge but it could happen at any moment.

Korea says it's in the middle of a very bad energy crisis but I've been looking into this recently and I've noticed a couple different things. First, during the warmer months (seems like 3 years ago at this point) people will routinely drive around with windows down and AC on full blast (not gonna help you save on gas with moves like that). Also now that it's cold out my school pumps heat and I'm talkin like 85 degrees in every room but yet keeps all its doors and windows open. No, you didn't misread what I just typed, 85 in class, 30 outside of it. Perhaps they could cut back on energy costs if they took the bold step of applying common sense to this situation. But I'm just spit-ballin here. They also love to drive, a 45 minute ride to Seoul can take twice as long because they don't want to use the most effective public transportation I've ever experienced (Korean subway), why, you ask? I've got no friggin clue. 

Tonight we're celebrating a fellow Man of Genius' Birthday. Sir Phillip of Drunkalot. Originally we had planned on an official Man of Genius evening with all the bells and whistles but his girlfriend Shannon tried to do the right thing and planned a surprise dinner and wanted all of us to go over for a party before we headed out for the night. Far be it for the MOG to create relationship strife for a senior member so we decided to alter our plans a little bit and give her some time with the chap. We'll still find a way to sneak him out at some point tonight for an as yet unnamed male activity but atleast he won't end up sleeping on the couch now. Phil's a really solid dude, whenever he and I are out I never have to buy a drink which makes me feel bad, but then I drink the beer and forget why I felt bad in the first place. He's gregarious and generous and his main goal in life is to enjoy it, gotta respect an outlook like that. 

Saturday night will be very entertaining, a group of us will be heading into Seoul for a concert put on by a Queen cover band called "First Lady" I believe. Pete's co-teacher manages them so he gets in free meanwhile the rest of us shlubs need to pay $20 to get in, should be well worth it and if it's not atleast we're already in Seoul which always provides us with enterainment anyway.  

I've become a fan of sushi, there's an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant somewhat near my area and it's delicious. I was never a fan of the stuff in the States because as most countries tend to do, they bastardize it to make it suitable to the tastes of the people in their country. This stuff is great and costs less than $10 per person. They also offer a miso and seafood chowdah along with salad and ice cream. I'm pretty sure they lose a lot of money whenever we walk in the door.

Sunday will be a relaxed and boring day and I'm not complaining the upcoming week's gonna be eventful with a few late nights probably mixed in. I'm pumped about Thanksgiving being 6 days away. I've got a huge meal planned at my apartment with about 15 people coming over. Mi madre sent over cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing and we'll also have chicken, duck, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other things that I'll get into early next week. Damn, I really want that meal right now.

Kept the blog short and sweet for ya today as I'm tired and in need of a long winter's nap. I realize my level of energy is no excuse for not providing you with quality entertainment but bear with me here, it's cold out.

Adios and Bon Voyage,

Intrigued in Incheon

Blogging in a Bathrobe

It's a nice quiet Sunday night here on the peninsula and I'm making every effort humanly possible to be as lazy as the law will allow me to be. I'm sitting at my computer listening to Adam Sandler on my Ipod in my Men of Genius bathrobe enjoying some cherry ice cream. After several trips to the washing machine the robe still has ink stains on it from the Fear Factor competition, I look at them as battle wounds and wear it proudly. Before I get into the meat and potatoes of the blog involving the weekend wrap up allow me to go on a little rant about someone who drops lower and lower on my respect tree every time he opens his mouth.

Kanye West or Kanyizzle Westizzle at some might call him. Recently he came out and said he was the voice of my generation. I wasn't consulted on this nor do I believe were anyone else in my age group. Really Kanye? The voice of our generation? Reallyyyyyyyyyyyy??? Here's a few of the reasons why he could be considered the ass of our generation but voice, I think not. First up is a clip of him on the TV show Punk'd, there's a part where he's showing off his mature side by doing a jig in his trailer when an "official" asks him to step out of the trailer to speak with him.


Next up is probably his most famous television appearance during the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser. He's doing the show with probably the whitest guy in the world Mike Myers. I missed this when it first aired but seeing his fidgeting all over camera and acting as nervous as Dirk Diggler before his first scene. Then out of nowhere he delivered the infamous line that became almost as famous as the actual hurricane.


I'm not one to get all high and mighty for the most part but Kanye, do us all a favor please, I'm begging you, stick to what you know. Creating songs based off of samples of everyone else's music and continue make millions of dollars and spending it on Cristal and Louis Vuitton man bags. Kanye's other fine points also consist of wearing collared shirts and popping up the collar, this looks good on no one. Saying that the MTV Music Awards are fixed, who cares? Lastly, he performed at the Bonnaroo music festival in June and it was quite possibly the worst performance in the history of performances, watching televised church services on Sunday mornings is the Super Bowl compared to the garbage he attempted to put people through with the Bonnaroo show. He came on 2 hours late which isn't horrible compared to other performers in their heyday namely The Doors and Guns n Roses but he was supposed to go on at 2:30am and went on at 4:45. The reason for the delay was because his neon light rotating stage has some bugs in the system and instead of going out and explaining to the crowd the reason for the delay he just sat back stage enjoying the finest meats and cheeses in all the land. Now you might be sitting there wondering why I'm dedicating 500 words to stating my case for Kanye being the ass of a generation and I say to you, because it's a Sunday night and I'm bored and when someone comes out and says they're a voice of a generation it damn well better be someone who thinks and cares about the whole generation and I think the case I've stated here shows he cares deeply for 1 person of our generation, himself. Thank you and I'm done now and onto the weekend.

Friday night I went out with Amanda with the intention of finding live music based on the directions given to me by The Jang, for the first time The Jang did not know what he was talking about. He sent me to a movie theatre, perhaps he thought Mamma Mia was "live music", he and I had a fundamental disagreement on this. Abba does not = live music, or music in general for that matter. So we ended up at Rhythm and Booze where we bumped into a few people we knew and got sucked into a trivia contest. Another fundamental disagreement arose when I was told that movies, politics, geography, and sports would not be categories. Whaaaaaaaaaaa? No sports or movies???? There was a language category with 7 second blurbs of people speaking in tongues that couldn't be understood by anyone. They all sounded like bajksjldhkjslhlkhdfsklgsdfgopkyjgh. Can you tell me what language that is because I sure as shit can't. After trivia we ended up at a Noribang (karaoke bar) where the roof was blown off the place with rousing renditions of "Bye Bye Bye", "Forgot About Dre", and my new staple "Paradise City".  Finally I crawled into bed around 6am and loving every second of the 4 hours of sleep I got. Saturday started off with a text from Pete at 1030 asking if I wanted to meet up for breakfast, I spent my time at the restaurant staring off into space wondering how I was going to survive the day. I met up with Zach at 1 and we headed back to Rhythm and Booze for a charity poker tourney and BBQ, half the proceeds went to benefitting a senior citizen assisted living facility. My philanthropy knows no bounds. The BBQ wasn't good, in fact it was atrocious as bacon was the protein offered but the saving grace as with most meals over here was the spicy soup.

Sidebar: Korea has ruined one of my true loves in life, Tabasco sauce. Everything is pumped full of spices and pepper sauce and because of this Tabasco's spice has been lost on my palate. Damn shame, we had a good ruin Tabasco, great times, hopefully we'll meet each other again in another life.

The poker tourney went well, 40 entrants and I finished a somewhat respectable 12th place. I hadn't played in 4 months so not being the first one eliminated was my main goal. I won a few big pots but stop getting cards and when there are 7 other people at the table, eventually you need a decent hand to make a move. Zach survived longer than I did and made the top 10 but Jeff and Phil would've been better off if they had decided to be beer runners for Zach and I as they were both knocked out fairly early. I think they did it on purpose because they were more interested in drinking which is why they are true Men of Genius. Amanda met up with us at the bar and we headed into Seoul for a night of libation and debauchery. Our friend Richard was Djing (Deejaying?) (Dejaying?) for the first time and a group of about 30 of us went in to show him some support. He did well and even mixed in a little Rage Against the Machine. It was techno music and strobe lights galore and we were taking side bets on who would be the first person to experience a seizure. There was also a performance artist who took off his shirt and proceeded to paint on the floor and around my white sneakers, well he attempted to go around my sneakers but the black line of paint on the side of one of them would beg to differ on how successful the guy was. We kept waiting for him to karate kick someone or some kind of crazy ninja-like manuever but alas, no dice. With the persuasive tactics of a certain person and the aid of Jack Daniels I even made an appearance on the dance floor and did my best impression of every cheesy dance move that my eyes had ever seen. A 45 minute cab ride later we finally called it a night and crashed with a capital CRASHED. Today has been lazy lazy lazy and I'm very proud of this. I've got no clue what I'll be teaching my kids tomorrow, I'm leaning towards basketball, infact I've just decided, it's going to be basketball. Go me! Well the cherry ice cream is done and I am too. Good night beautiful people, always remember, you deserve all good things that happen to you in life.

Intrigued in Incheon

Ask and You Shall Receive

Apologies to everyone for being really lazy with the blog, I'm better than that and you know this. I wish I had a good reason like I've been busy at work or was kidnapped by North Koreans and had to fight my way back across the border but laziness would probably be the honest reason.

First up is last Friday with the Century Club Showdown of 2008. After much chatter from the girls of Incheon about being able to out drink the men we told them it was time to put up or shut up. So we settled on last Friday, quick recap on the Century Club for those of you who don't know. 100 shots of beer every minute for 100 minutes. Plain and simple, throwing up is allowed but only if you make up the missed shots during the yak session. The Men of Genius were represented by myself, Pete, Zach, Phil, Alex, Mike, and Jeff. The women had to put together their team since a female equivalent of the MOG doesn't exist. They had Ingrid, Julie M, Julie A, Anna, Lindsey, Jen, and Amy. All very stubborn and determined to take away our crown as the coolest Mofo's on the peninsula. By the halfway point it started to get messy on both sides and a crowd had shown up to see the contest. The MOG's uniform consisted of shirt, tie, dress pants and dress shoes. While the women chose a personally designed cut up t-shirt approach. Very classy and the contrast couldn't have been more different. The women tried every trick in the book, pouring half shots, opening up all their bottles at once to deplete the carbonation to avoid filling up quicker, and then enticing the MOG with promises of things which can't be repeated even in this blog. I took on the task of keeping the team focused and when one of the women attempted to pull Mike away from the table I had to go and drag him back to finish. We didn't fall for any of their ploys but to their credit they all finished. There is still some lingering controversy because Ingrid threw up on the 99th shot and while she claims she did the 100th shot, I'm a firm believer in her not completing it in the alloted time. So once again as with all things in life the MOG were victorious. We then went to allegedly the best night club not in Seoul called Arabian Nights and when they attempted to charge our group 150,000 won for a table Phil responded to their request by walking out of the night club and showing off his middle fingers in a slightly unfriendly way. I think they got the point and we probably shouldn't go back there anytime soon. Ohhhh, so after the 100 minutes were up and there wasn't an official winner declared we challenged the women to a 20 minutes sudden death period which they agreed to, things were getting ugly and sloppy inside so I wanted to get out team outside for a team meeting to regroup and talk strategy but as I walked out into the hall I see Alex running away and then I proceeded to get blasted in the face by a fire extinguisher, in case you're wondering it tastes as good as it sounds, like burning. After the CO2 had cleared I see Jeff huddled in a corner with a devilish grin on his face and pointing the extinguisher at me, I kindly asked him to hand it over, he refused, I asked again, he refused again, then I proceeded to wrestle it away from him and throw it down the other end of the hall. Jeff was definitely a dark horse in the grand scheme of things involving people I would've expected to pretend to be a fireman but after I got the horrible taste out of my mouth and brushed off my clothes you couldn't help but laugh at the situation. We then all piled into cabs and headed to Bupyeoung, I need to note that all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball in my bed but was persuaded by Pete and Chrissy to go with everyone, Zach bought me a beer which I took 2 sips of and then just stared at for the next 2 hours wondering which would happen first, me drinking the beer, or the beer drinking me. It was a 50/50 at this point. Finally I found my bed at 3am and was very thankful for this.

Saturday I went and saw the new Bond movie which was entertaining and that's about all I can say about it. It's weird seeing a moving when you're in Korea, the movie's in english but when they had scenes where people were speaking Spanish they would put the subtitles of Spanish in Hangul (Korean) but not in english, so I had to revert back to my 2 years of spanish from Junior High to try and translate. More often than not it sounded like they were saying "the cheese is old and moldy, where is the bathroom" but something tells me my translation might've been a bit wrong on that. For the night it was the standard Korean BBQ with unlimited pancakes and a nightcap at Rock Bar. Rock Bar is great for the soul reason that they allow us to control the music. This means a never-ending stream of Guns n Roses, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, with a touch of Tom Petty, Sublime, and The Cure. They need to update thei selection but for a bar in Korea, it ain't bad.

Sunday might've been the most boring day I've had here, I stared at my computer for a few hours, did some grocery shopping and then went to Bupyeoung Park where I played 4 on 4 bball with 7 Korean dudes for a couple hours. Good workout but it's not exactly like playing with the Celtics. Granted I'm not Larry "The Basketball Jesus" Bird but I can play defense and move without the ball, these guys looked friggin lost. Usually when you're playing a man to man defense you won't give the guy a 15 foot cushion but most of my teammates thought that would be a good strategy which might explain why we lost 30-17. I could be wrong about this put I don't think so.

The week's been vanilla flavored for the most part, we went out Wednesday night because today was a national testing day for all the high school students, and lucky me I actually got the entire day off, swizzle! So I've spent the day off sleeping til 930 which for anyone who knows me is about as late as I'll sleep in, downloading some much needed new tunes to my Ipod, went to the gym, and making lunch. I'm planning on doing some festooning of my apartment by putting up some pictures I brought from home along with the 3 jerseys I brought with me. My Bruce Smith Buffalo Bills jersey, Coyle Cassidy Warriors football jersey, and my most treasured jersey of all, my Skeet Shooters jersey that was worn during our championship summer of 2007. Now that was a friggin team right there. What do all the jerseys have in common? The greatest number of all-time 78.

Congratulations to the SK Wyverns (Incheon's baseball team) who won their 2nd conecutive Korean baseball championship. Well done.

Random list, greatest gangster movies. This arguement will never be settled because there are so many great ones but I'll throw my list out there and then give reasons why I feel as such, humor me please.

1. Godfather II
-Tops almost everyone's list, Michael Corleone goes through several thiings in this movie and atleast twice you're not sure how he's gonna get himself out of it but like always he walks away the king of kings. He takes on Hyman Roth and the US Government and walks away from both unscathed. Granted the murder of Roth didn't go as planned but he made his point and Roth dies shortly after. Then he puts the fear of god into Frank Pantangeli right before he's about to testify and then walks out of the Senate, leaving the Senators scrambling for answers on how they let the most powerful criminal in the United States walk away.
2. Pulp Fiction
-There are times when I feel as thought this is better than Godfather II, but call me nostalgic I'm a sucker for a classic. The characters, plot are fantastic but then when you add converstations such as :
Jules: Do you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in France? 
Brett: No.
Jules: Tell him, Vincent.
Vincent: Royale with cheese. 
Jules:  Royale with cheese. Do you know why they call it a Royale with cheese? 
Brett: Because of the metric system?
Jules:: Check out the big brain on Brett. You one smart motherfucker.
You just know it's gonna be a great movie. Marcellus Wallace, Butch, Jules, Vincent, Mia, Honey Bunny and a cameo from Christopher Walken just add to the gloriousness of the movie.
3. Casino
Sam Rothstein (greatest Jewish character in a movie of all time) takes on the Italian mafia. Nuff said.
4. The Usual Suspects
"I am Kaiser Soze" The Gimp, and 100 dead gangsters all credited to one man, still one of the all-time great endings to a movie, no one saw it coming, and if they said they did, they are lying. 
5. The Godfather
The original classic that all the people in the above movies should thank for their pay checks. The death of Sonny Corleone still makes me nevous whenever I approach a tool booth. 

This upcoming weekend will be laid back for the most part, going out Friday night to some place that I've yet to figure out, perhaps a bling tour of a random area of the city, sounds safe right? Saturday I'll be at this cookout at Rhythm and Booze then they're holding a charity poker tournament with the first prize of 250,000 won, keep your fingers crossed for me on that one. I could use the cash and I haven't played cards in 3 months so hopefully everyone around me will get drunk and careless and I can capitalize. I've never been a drinker when I play cards, it's hard enough for me to keep track of my thoughts sober let alone when I attempting to do percentages in my head which I already don't really understand anyway. I was also sucked into tutoring one of the teachers at my school's kid for a couple hours on Sunday night. Ugh! So looks like it'll be another boring Sunday for me which I should probably appreciate more than I do since more often than not I'm running around doing random stuff.  

Be good Boston and beyond,

Intrigued in Incheon


Stunned, Amazed, Speechless, Emotional, Proud, all words that could be be used to desribe how I felt all of yesterday and continue to feel just as strongly right now. Way to go America. We all came together for one purpose, the betterment of our country. I still can't believe what happened, watching all the news reports and reading all the articles I just sit at my computer and can't help but shed a tear of joy and hope. Two years ago when the campaigns began I was a stauch Hillary supporter and thought she stood the best chance to take on any republican that they sent into the Presidential race. But the more I listened to Obama, you'd have to have no heart at all to not feel inspired. He's eloquent, professional, intelligent, and what exactly our country needed at time. He's a man of destiny, taking on any and all comers, whatever they threw at him, he just hit right back at them twice as hard. My friend Allie sent me this link:


Allie's my political confidant back in Boston and does more than an adequate job of keeping me up to date with all things politics and is also good at sending me Sox info. It's a full time job for her and I thank you greatly Tex.

This whole election means so much to me, more so being overseas right now than if I was still at home. Being in Korea and meeting people from many different countries really opened my eyes to how far we had fallen from the international standpoint. Peter had told me that even though England and Europe in general have always secretly envied what we have in America, over the last 8 years that view, while still existing, wasn't nearly as strong as it used to be. This is beginning to change all because of Novermber 4th, 2008. 11/04/08 will be a day that we look back on 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now and be able to say we were there when America said "I don't care about skin color, I care about change, I care about progress, I care about a better life not just for myself but for my children, and children's children. I care about hope, and the potential for greatness. I care about a man who says I want to help you, and for the first time in a long time, we actually believed what we were being told." Barack is a man, he's obviously not perfect, but he's become a symbol for something that I just don't have the words in my vernacular to express how in awe I am right now. My amazing sister voted for her first time yesterday and I couldn't be more proud of her, she's been bitten by the political bug. She was actually elected as an at large representative of her freshman class in college. She wasn't able to accept it though because unbeknowst to her, she would've had to move to a different campus in her system. But I am looking forward to the day when she's sitting in behind that big desk in the Oval Office granting me a pardon for (insert random felony charge here).

What an amazing 36 hours it has been. A group of us went out last night to celebrate, and celebrate we did. We kicked it off with the traditional kickass Korean BBQ followed up by beer, soju and "Yes We Can" chants. The international community is incredibly pumped that the American voters finally got it right and congratulations were coming from people from many different countries. The Koreans are all really excited because they're dying to open up lines of communication with the North and the current SK government doesn't want to. They feel like Barack will be able to convince their government to rethink their stance on that.

By the way, how classless was it of McCain's followers to boo when he said Obama's name last night. Friggin grow up people, you're the reason why we had 8 years of Bush, suck it up and deal. God forbid we have universal affordable health care, an improved public education system, job creation, alternative energy so Saudi Arabia won't have us bent over a barrel (pun intended) anymore.

I'm sure everyone's already seen this but here's the "Yes We Can" video. http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY .

I love my country and am looking forward to coming back to a place that while it's not going to change over night, will certainly be better than the way I left it. Thank you Barack, you da man.  Yes We Can and Yes We Did.

Intrigued in Incheon

Korean Fear Factor

Buenos Tardes Amigos!

I'll get right into this, Friday night was epic. When historians look back on October 31st, 2008 there will be a picture of me dressed as an international man of leisure with a caption that says "What the Hell Happened to This Guy". They won't even mention me by name. I'll just be known as the This Guy. Here's the play by play.
1:30am Round 1: contestants are called to the stage, as we assemble my worst fears are realized. First round is silk worms. They are cooked and hands down the nastiest smelling thing this country has to offer. I had made a point not to get too drunk before the start of this because I needed to be thinking somewhat clearly and it paid off in the first round bc I went for the cup with no silk juice in it, meanwhile everyone else around me was so hammered that they didn't even know what they were about to ingest. The first bite almost did me in, but once I got a handle on the texture of the worms, I got over it. We couldn't drink anything during the challenge and they were all dried out. There were 10 contestants and the top 8 advanced. I finished the round in 7th place.
1:40am Round 2: The third hottest pepper in the world, I don't know what it's name is, but I call it "hot as hell". It seemed like everyone would finish this because it wasn't a huge pepper but the hook was whoever the first two people were to go for the milk on the table to take away the burn would be kicked out of the competition. There were 7 guys and 3 girls and 2 of the girls dropped out here. Then I proceeded to drink a half gallon of milk to get the taste out of my mouth. It was so hot that I was sweating on my forehead, crying out of my right eye and went cross-eyed with my left. Big shoutout to Julie and Samantha for being my version of boxing trainers. In between each round they were handing me beers to help cleane my pallet and toweling me off. Things were getting intense at this point. It was also around this time where the guy to my left made a piss poor attempt to try and stare me down which I replied by shooting him a glare back and said "go waste your time on someone else because you don't have a prayer in the world right now".
1:47am Round 3: Fresh/ uncooked cow liver. Trust me, it tastes as good as it sounds. At this point there were 4 of us left, but one of the people quit as soon as they heard it was cow liver. Which made it so only one more person would need to drop out for the final 2 to advance to the championship round. The cow liver was handed to us and the rule was simple, last person to finish was out. Now the reason why I like to eat lots of different kinds of food is because I don't think about how it arrived on my plate, I don't think about cows/ pigs/ chickens being slaughtered I just enjoy steak, bacon, and buffalo wings. I know they taste good and I'm higher up on the food chain than they are. This played heavily in my favor for this round as the cow liver was transformed into a 10 oz. cut of Prime Rib sans au jus. I went right after it but the last girl left wasn't having any of it, she threw up after about 2 bites then we just stopped because I had no interest in continuing to eat that, regardless of whether or not I'm anemic.
1:58am Round 4: Time to put the women and children to bed and go hunting for dinner. It came down to me and this guy named Damon. All my anger of Johnny Damon signing with the Yankees after 2004 came boiling up and I knew that since I had made it to the finals I wasn't going to back down now. Damon was the reigning champ and had been over here for alteast a year and a half. The bar had about 200 people there and 185 of them were scraming his name and hoping he would get the victory. My crew was small but mighty and they were yelling their asses off for me.
2:02am The squid is introduced to the table, having been killed no more than 1 hour ago. If you've never had the oppurtunity to eat freshly killed squid, let me put this inn perspective for you. It's still not really dead because the tentacles will still still to you and there's a somewhat serious concern that while swallowing the tentacles they can get stuck to your throat which wouldn't end well for the person that it happened to. We were even told by the owner of the bar that we needed to chew excessively for safety. Now, I've never bee one to follow conventional wisdom (what's the fun in that) and since my one and only goal was to put this animal into my stomach as quickly as possible, chewing wasn't the concern, it was swallowing. The MC yelled go and the next 25 seconds were a complete blur. I rippe the tentacles off the main body and didnt even chew, just swallowed it right down. By the time the dust had settled, I was collecting my prize and Damon was still trying to figure out how to eat it. The squid squirted ink all over my costume and my hands were convered, that's how fresh this thing was. I won the equivalen of $100 and a bottle of Jose Cuervo which costs about $50 over here so all in all it was well worth it. But never again will I ingest anything that I was subjected to during those 32 minutes. I felt find the next morning which actually concerned me more than if I had woken up feeling sick. My body shouldn't be able to handle what I threw at it, but I should be probably be happy with it.

I did discover this internet radio station where you're able to put specifically what bands you want on there and it's 7 shades of awesome. The website is called Jango and if you're ever bored at home or the office, I strongly recommend it.

Be good guys and if you're food's moving around don't eat it. Nothing good can ever come of it I promise.

Intrigued in Incheon