Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year Party!

The year is coming to an end. I hope that everybody has had a wonderful year. With the new year, may there be many new experiences to fill you all with joy. A wise saying that I carry in my heart goes like this: Eat, Drink & be Happy! May this new year be a time of happiness for you all.

I've got a few hours left of this year in Korea. At mid-night, hold your glasses high and your loved ones near. Let's drink and cheer for our new year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not Quite a Vacation but my Vacation.

I'm on vacation now. Not sure how it already is Tuesday. I've got one good thing going for me today. It's morning, late morning but none-the-less. The afternoon has yet to begin.

Christmas Eve: The 24th.
Following the Christmas Presentation for the kids. I took off with D. Wolf & J.A.De to the Christmas Eve party at the 1950's Bar. It was also J.A.De's birthday.
We got a seat at the bar. There was to be a presentation of bar tenders dancing and spinning bottles. They usually do this sort of thing on special occasions.
It also happened to be D. Jaguar's birthday also. He showed up later on in the evening.
I made a quick run to Baskin Robins to pick up a cake for J.A.De. The smile and surprise on her face was priceless. [This is where the voice for the Master Card commercial comes in]
After the bottle spinning performances and arrival of more people the dancing began. The regulars know. Seriously crazy time.

Christmas Day: The 25th.
I stayed in bed all day. There was no recollection of the journey home. The film from that part of my memory and much of what happen after the spinning bottles of the night previous was stolen from the vault. The vault being my memory bank.
The feeling of staying in bed all Christmas seems sort of depressing but it was sort of what I needed.

The Day After Christmas: The 26th.
There was a late day of work. I had to finish the progress report/evaluation cards and send them home with the afternoon kids.
Following work I rendezvous with a friend that partied with me on the 24th - 25th. Together, we were spending more time than usual. It was enjoyable to spend time with somebody on a consistent basis. How much of it will last is already written into the cards. This mystery girl will be heading back to Australia in a few days. The Korean-Australian lady will not be close for long. Though it is nice to have her company. It ends in time... The right time. In time for the end of the year.
I drank until the bar closed. Then we moved the party to another western bar down the road called California. A few people I new showed up and the rest is another stolen film from the vault.
I do remember at one point telling two girls around me to just duke it out. Go ahead, fight for me.

Saturday: The 27th.
The phone rings. It's Gib. "You do remember we have a wedding to go to this afternoon".
The front desk lady/teacher got married. It was a wonderful wedding. Reminded me of when my younger sister got married. The food after the ceremony was delicious. I ate a lot of salmon and ate some soup. After the ceremony dinner I began to sober up.
The Korean-Australian lady met up later that evening for a beer and a movie. I was extremely tired. The movie was well worth the trip out rather than the trip home to be alone.

Sunday: The 28th.
Hectic afternoon. I got a little hungry and cooked up some ramen noodles. The K.A.L. was suppose to call me at 8p.m. that evening. She didn't call so I took off to my Aunt's house. My mother's sister.
As I was eating pizza and playing 7 card stud with my uncles the phone rang. It was a number that I didn't recognize before. I let it ring. The phone was bombarded by this number. I stepped out to smoke a cigarette and answer the phone. It was K.A.L.
K.A.L. is sort of upset. She's at my place and I'm not there. I give her my password for the door lock.
I continue to play poker for another hour before taking off to pick up K.A.L. Now I'm running real late. While I was on my way to my Aunt's house Gib sent a message. He wanted to meet up at the 1950's Bar.
I finally make it there at 1A.M.
It's quite possible that I got to bed at 5A.M. that night/morning.

Monday: 29th.
Ordered McDonald's delivered to my house. Yeah, can you believe that? McDonald's is delivered here. Ate a Big Mac meal set. Then I jammed on the guitar until 8P.M.
That evening K.A.L. invited me out to meet some of her friends. Childhood friends that she went to elementary and middle school with. It was fun.
They ate some Korean food and drank soju. Soju is a Korean alcoholic beverage usually made of potatoes or rice and is not very good. I personally don't like soju but that's beside the point. There had to be an exception made on my part. I couldn't be the only one drinking something other than what the crowd gathered was drinking. It was cold last night. I was home before 1.A.M.

Today: 30th.
With the morning sunrise so did my eyelids rise. With all this time on my hands I've got some time to recollect this busy week/weekend that has passed. No highlights I suppose. Maybe just attempts to hide the loneliness of being in Korea alone. In some ways... I'm numb to it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Blessings to All

It's Christmas Eve over here in Korea. I've got a busy day before the calm of Christmas. I hope everybody has a great and wonderful Christmas. I especially like to take time to remember my precious sister who was given to me 30 years ago on Christmas Day. She's the greatest Christmas gift I've ever received and could ever ask for.

Blessing to you all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rambling on about much of nothing.

I can only imagine what it's like to have a child of my own. The joy and innocence that surrounds me everyday can soften the coldest of hearts. Which reminds me... is the working title of my novella. Cold, Heartless & without Remorse.

Last night Grey met his friend J.A.De for a drink and to talk.

J.A.De: People are not like you and I

GREY: What do you mean?

J.A.De: You see things that normally others might not see.

GREY: Explain

J.A.De: Intuition of some sort... A six sense about your surroundings.

GREY: What if I don't see what your saying... no intuition there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grey's Dilemma Part 1

Today was rehearsal day... again. The first half of rehearsal has gone by fairly well.

On Monday Grey strolled into work like most days. He didn't have his iTouch which is a bummer. How can anybody live without music to keep the rhythm of life on beat. However, He managed to stop by a coffee shop to purchase a grande size Americano.

The issue this week in Grey's world involves his partner teacher. Let's call her Belly. On Monday, she snapped at Grey. She looked unrested from the weekend and possibly was on that period thing.

Grey, being sensitive to the situation attempts to avoid any conversation with Belly. It's not a good idea to upset the cat who's not had her meal. Grey knows though. She hasn't been with a man physically for 30 odd years. The culture is partly to blame. Her mother who Belly lives with might be part of the blame. It could be her isolation from the male population that is partly to blame. Her inexperience with pushing boundaries might be partly to blame.

About a month ago. Gib (another teacher) hosted an open house. He moved from the dungeon to a new apartment further from any subway stop. Further towards the outer edges of Seoul's city limit.

Let's back up even further. Back to June of 2008. That's when Grey moved back to Seoul. He moved into the new apartment that his employer provided. It was a small one room flat. There was literally only room for a small single bed, desk, closet, t.v., small refrigerator and a bathroom.

The bathroom was so small that when you sat up from the toilet seat you'd end up bumping your head against the wall in front of you. The bathroom was so small that you can point the shower head on you while you took a shit. The bathroom was so small that you'd hate going to the bathroom. Did I mention that Grey's bathroom was small?

There was one large window. On the other side of that window was another building. The other building was approximately 4 feet away from the window. The sun never shined into the room. This is why it was given the name the dungeon.

Three months later Grey moved out to another apartment provided by his employer.

About a months ago Gib moved out of the dungeon to the isolated apartment buildings built for the 1988 Paraplegic Olympics in Seoul. This meant that Gib's apartment is made to be wheelchair accessible. It makes for a nice flat. A gigantic restroom. A kitchen separate from the room where the bed is located. All the doors in his flat are wide. Wide enough for wheel chairs to have access to all parts of the flat.

Back to Gib's open house. As I was saying. Gib had an open house a few months back. All the employee's of Orchard Kindergarten (not the real name of the place of employment) were invited to Gib's open house.

There was a good number of folks that showed up. They ate, listened to music, drank wine and chatted away about subjects ranging from the 70's to the modern life of university students.

Half the group left as Belly arrived. She ate and mingled as we drank the remaining wine and moved on to a bottle of gin mixed with different fruit juices.

When 11 o'clock came around Belly had to leave. We convinced her to stay a little longer.

"I have a curfew", Belly said.

To make a short story even shorter... Belly's mother called and Orchard's Kindergarten director had to speak to Belly's mom. To let her know that she would be on her way soon.

The point being that it was her second time ever being late for curfew. Belly has always been in the grips of her mother's hand. Did I mention that she's 30 years old?

This is a little picture of how people live in Korea. Grown adults still live with their parents and are controlled by them in strange ways. (Which reminds me of a cool song by MF DOOM called "strange ways" which has nothing to do with this post all together).

The rest of Monday, Grey avoided any conversation with Belly.

Tuesday became a similar scenario. What was Grey to do?

Wednesday has come and gone. Grey has begun to feel the awkwardness stack up further.

What should Grey do?
a. Continue to avoid Belly
b. Take time to talk to Belly and get any unspoken frustration out of the darkness
c. Be just as rude to Belly as she has been to Grey
d. (Your suggestion)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The President of South Korea

The picture is of the Korean President with soon to be ex-President George W. Bush. The Korean president was elected into office at the end of 2007. It was ridiculous to say the least.

Let me explain. In America we have a simple two major party system. Sure we have our libertarians and Green parties. Nationally, we narrow down our candidates to two major persons. That is far from the case in Korea.

Yi Myung Bak ran against 7 other candidates. There were actually 10 candidates running until days before election.

If you look very carefully in this picture you can see that Yi (Lee) Myung Bak has his eyes open. I promise you. The Korean President's eyes are open.

At the kindergarten the teachers and students have been very busy this month. The reason for this business is due to a big performance the school is presenting to the parents of our students. Each class has a speech or some presentation of art and dance.

The age group that I teach have come together to perform a dance routine to Natalie Cole's, Love Song. It was originally done by her father Nat King Cole. I teach two classes rotating between them with my co-teacher. She teaches one class while I am teaching the other. Through out the day we switch back and forth depending on the day of the week and the schedule.

For one of the classes the students have been practicing speeches. It is a self introductory speech for one of the four Mt. Rushmore Presidents. Anyways... On Friday we had a large rehearsal for the entire Kindergarten. We all gathered up stairs in the activity room (Surprise Room) to perform in front of each other. While one class was getting ready I was looking through some pictures that I made for my students. The pictures were portraits of the Presidents. Each student would hold up the portrait/picture while they spoke. Introducing the president as themselves in first person.

This is the conversation that occurred as I was looking through the pictures.

STUDENT: Teacher, they are so ugly.

GREY: Do you think Yi Myung Bak is handsome?

GIB (another teacher): I tell my students that I'm Yi Myung Bak.

GREY: (laughing) You would need smaller eyes.

GIB: Are you kidding me? If I think I'm Yi Myung Bak, I need to open my eyes

Both are laughing out of control.

GREY: That is a great pun!

It's much funnier if you were there.

The Lemonade Award

I received an award for having a great attitude. Thank you Kris Anne

Here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
6. The bloggers listed below are truly deserving of the Lemonade Award for having a great attitude. They have become dear blogging friends and inspirations!

The Nominee's are..... [drum roll]

Read this post. ---> Aesthetic Success! <---


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Goal #2: Aesthetic Success

Success! I am very happy to announce that yesterday my goal of obtaining seven followers is complete. During my early infant stages of blogging I decided to set a few eccentric goals. One of them being the topic and reason for celebration in this post.

I think a glass of Johnny Walker [Green Label] is called for (be right back).

Today will be a celebration of Aesthetic Success. In doing so I'd like to thank all my friends here in blogger world who have added so much color and beauty to Grey Images.

Alex: You are seriously my first commenter. You gave me great encouragement to brave the overwhelming world of the Multi-net. You are consistently the most friendly and kindest person I could ever ask to be part of Grey Images. Thank you, Sincerely. Thank you.
If anybody is interested in art. Alex is also a very creative and talented artist.

The Geeky Quill: Then there's the somewhat illusive writer, mom, and wife. She's my second commenter who has consistently showed up to presence her quill to the world of Grey Images. Thank you Mrs. Illusive Writer with no name on her profile. You can check out her first chapter of her current project ----> Here <----

Cyn: Then there's the young, imaginative young lady from the Philippines. She loves poetry and has been very supportive of the abstract creations that have been presented here on Grey Images. Thank you Cyn. Please come back often. She is sure to become a great poet as she ages with wisdom.

Sandi: Then there's the woman with a large and a honest heart. She holds back nothing and you'll see for yourself how wonderful her corner of Earth is. The ups and downs are filled with humor and sadness that will leave you pondering even when away from the portal called computer. Thank you Sandi. If you come from a large family or like large families you will most definitely love this blog.

Julian: Then there's the blogger who will keep you coming back. For myself... curiosity. She's made her presence on Grey Images mid-way through this short journey and recently became a full member. Thank you for your presence and we all look forward to getting to know you more as we make this journey to bring color to Grey.

C.J.: Recently C.J. joined us to bring some Brazilian flavor as well as her deconstructed world view of America. It will be a pleasure for us all to get to know you better as we move forward from here. Thank you for joining us and asking such inquisitive and interesting questions the past few days. We also look forward to reading and seeing more of your art.

C. Woods: Last but not least. The completer of this successful goal. I look forward to getting to know you more in the future. Thank you.

I'd also like to thank all the other visitors who have also added particular insight and strokes of color to the canvas of Grey. It's been extremely fun for me. (Goes to pour another drink of [Green Label] to salute a cheer). To the future! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I'm pretty much addicted to the Internet. If it isn't on my laptop at home or the office computers then you'll find me surfing blogs on my ipod touch. It's a really cool gadget for mp3's and has the great ability to surf the Internet using Safari web browser by Apple. If you don't know much about it you should google it.

Today, while on my surfing expedition I came across an interesting idea about asking questions. It was all about asking the blogger questions. I'm running with this one. However, instead of asking me questions I'm asking you these few questions.

What’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite number?
What is your ideal vacation and with who?
Is there life after death? What sort of life would that look like?
Does religion do more harm to the world than intended?
Do you believe the idea of an intelligent designer?

Addendum: I suppose you can ask questions too. Let's have fun with it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hospital Visit Number 2 & 3

During the winter months of the year I have a recurring problem. This problem involves the excessive perspiration of my feet. The problem is bad to the point that by the end of the day my feet are drenched with perspiration. You can imagine the odor that accompanies this problem.

I've been trying all sorts of antics to remedy the problem. I've applied baby powder to my feet. The logic to this is that the powder would absorb the excess sweat that is created by my beautiful, stinky feet. It works to a degree. However, it doesn't complete the job. The feet still stink. It's like the Peanuts character Pigpen. An odor that is unavoidably recognizable.

On the second day of my hospital visit. I was nervous about my soggy socks and odor. As the first visit but it seemed to be worse. Maybe I didn't go home the night before. This type of thing happens even on work days. Drinking whiskey in Korea is a Marathon of longevity. It's fun too. And when it's time to start heading back home you might find yourself holding some ladies hand. Where you end up at night is discovered the next morning as your stretching out of bed to get ready for work. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the reason though.

It made for an embarrassing moment. Your feet are bare and the Doctor is poking his little needles into you. The entire time that lingering smell manifests itself. I wonder if they have some sort of acupuncture for excessive sweat from the feet?

The Doctor is done with his poking. A stream of different nurses are in and out of the curtain room around my unfortunately small and uncomfortable bed. I feel bad that they have to smell my feet odor. It makes me very, very self conscience.

That night (Thursday) I went out to my regular hole in the wall spot for drinking and socializing. It's quite the spot the "1950's Western Bar". When I first started dropping into the spot back in April of 2007, it was the music that drew me in. I literally lived about 7 minutes away from the place that's elevator time included. Needless to say, it became my favorite spot to sit down and socialize. The people there are the sort that finds solace and comfort in whatever way they know how. Mainly solace and comfort is found in a bottle with this crowd. Sure, there are always exceptions.

When you frequent a place over a period of time you begin to see patterns. These patterns, social or otherwise makes an interesting impact onto our psyche. It allows us to let down our guard. In many respects it allows for contact with the outside world from our own. I made many friends and so it's always nice to visit 1950's Western Bar even when I live an 8 Dollar cab ride away now.

I didn't make it home that Thursday night.

Friday morning, I stretched out of bed washed up and headed to the subway station with my friend who's place I crashed at for the night. She was heading to work as was I.

I'm not completely sure why the hospital insisted that I have three visits or sessions. When I asked about having to come for the third one the receptionist laughed.

In a slightly broken Korean Grammar, "Do I really have to come tomorrow? My ankle doesn't hurt any more. I can walk on it now".

Now the problem was climaxing. I have the same smelly socks on and my feet aren't particularly doing so well. A spot opened up later in the afternoon for me to slip out to the hospital and back before teaching my last class for post kindergarten reading (An after school program for kindergarten graduates... Ha).

I quickly grabbed some baby powder found in the teachers office a few days earlier. Most of the teachers were in class teaching. I powdered up my feet. Boy were they soaked. It's crazy that it's being said here but seriously.

I had two options. Eat free food left over from lunch or go to the hospital and pay $10 to be poked with needles. Lunch was great by the way... meatballs with rice and some fried potatoes with little slices of ham. The choice was obvious, right. That's exactly what I did. Free food.

There was no third visit to the hospital. Maneuvering around is not at all uncomfortable. Things are looking up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hospital Visit Number 1

I'd like to take this time to welcome Julian to grey images. She has definitely brought some more color to Grey.

The other day we received a visitor all the way from Egypt via the 'Silver Thermos' blog entry. Can you imagine the story behind Cairo's visit? It inspires me to envision the disposition that spiraled Cairo's search for a silver thermos using our all favorite

Do I dare try? Maybe another time.

Two nights ago in a rush to use the restroom I slipped in my bathroom causing me to bang my ankle against the frame of the door. You can imagine the pain that I found myself in as cursing poured out of my mouth.

I went to sleep with my ankle elevated with a pillow. When morning arrived the ankle had become swollen and showed bruising. For some ridiculous manly reason I thought I could walk it out. So, after showering up and dressing down in my usual slacks and dress shirt I marched down the road towards work. I stopped for my coffee without my thermos. (I keep the thermos at work now leaving it to sit at my office desk). I smiled at the pretty lady who serves me coffee and continued on my way. It ended up being a 25 minute walk. It did not help to walk it out.

Upon arriving at work I immediately told my boss that I needed to go see a doctor.

She asked, "are you sick again"?

"No, not at all. I slipped in the bathroom and hurt myself".

Next door to the kindergarten I am employed at is a Hospital that specializes in acupuncture. It was close enough to be in and out in 40 minutes. It's exactly what I did with the opening in my schedule.

The hospital must not get many foreigners. They were extra friendly and kind of giddy. After checking in at the front desk they kindly asked me to have a seat. In less than 10 minutes I was being ushered into a room with a desk and a man with a white robe. The doctor had a big smile on his face.

I explained to the doctor what happened. He then tried to bend my ankle in a direction it doesn't normally bend.

"Ouch... Uhmmm. I don't think it normally bends that way," I said.

The doctor said, "Okay, okay".

The doctor and his team of nurses then ushered me into another room with a lot of beds. Each bed had a curtain around it. I took off my hoody (Yes, I wore slacks and a button up dress shirt and wore a thick furry hoody as a coat). I took off my All Stars (Chuck Taylor All Star shoes). I then laid down on the slightly uncomfortable bed.

The doctor took off my left sock and rolled up both legs of my slacks. He then rolled up the right arm of my sleeve. Before I could realize what was happening and how uncomfortable it was to have a doctor touch me, needles were being pressed into my right arm and hand. The doctor then proceeded to put a needle into my right leg.

"It's my left ankle," I said.

The doctor said, "I know, I know," and proceeded to put the last acupuncture needle into my left big toe.

I had more needles in my right arm than the rest of my body. I was dumb founded. It was my left ankle that was injured.

The doctor then used a needle to make multiple punctures into my left ankle. He then applied a suction cup instrument to draw out the blood that was causing the ankle to swell up.

In about twenty minutes I was out the door. It was easier to move my ankle. As I left the hospital the front desk lady scheduled another appointment for today... which I also went to and returned from.

I think this entry is long enough and so I'll save the following hospital entry for another day.

Don't slip on the ice. You might hurt something other than your ankle. Be careful when in the restroom also.