Monthly Archives: April 2013

The long strange trip continues

Somehow the experience of my Korean phenomenon is still in action almost two years into the third go here. It’s absolutely amazing the abstraction of actually being here. It’s late April, we were celebrating Spring’s arrival yesterday, and woke up to snow. It just never ceases to amaze me how strange the planet Earth can be sometimes. But I feel like I’m still ahead of the curve, no matter how bent it all seems to get. Went out with some friends for dinner and drinks afterward and understood them all to have woken up with hangovers. I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe they just drank more than me. Maybe my body is comfortable more easily with a barrage of sedative chemicals than theirs. One of them seems genuinely damaged. I hope he feels better soon. Life is hard on folks when they land in a new land sometimes. There’s the local bacteria to get used to, the local allergens, local languages and customs… It ain’t always easy travelin’ the planet. I like it well enough though.
I’ve been applying for jobs in the Middle East all week. I finally got my hair cut and a good mugshot made for professional purposes, so now my applications can be submitted completely. Not to mention the lovely reference that my co-teacher wrote for me.

Yea, I know, I won’t have any more late night bar-hopping if and when I go, but that doesn’t really bother me. I like booze, but I like chocolate and apples too. It’s just a random substance that makes me happy. I can swap one for the other and not worry too much about it. It feels kinda cool to be going somewhere that’s dry anyway. It’ll be an interesting juxtaposition with Korean style which puts ratty cheap booze with every social gathering possible. Why am I dismissive of the style? Because it’s cheap, ratty booze. Soju’s lame. Their beer is lame. It’s like shifting from fresh apples off a tree to one that fell off a week ago and got lost under some grasses, turned brown and kinda got soft. Yea, that’s measuring soju against nice beverages such as Bowmore, or Jameson, or Laphroag, nice things. Things that you don’t gulp. This is a land that Jack Daniels is treated as an expensive, classy drink… Carlo Rossi is sold in 700 ml. bottles and given shelf-space half-way up the wall… Do you get what I’m sayin? Anyway, I certainly won’t miss it… Fun fact~ Diesel was found in soju last week. Seriously, the stuff is poison.
Okay, so clearly I’m good letting go of that. 🙂

Head Shot enhansed1

Wow~ the country is pretty awesome when it isn’t snowing on what was supposed to be the first summer Saturday~ I really look forward to the summer here. It’s bound to be right around the corner. I guess… Anyway, with it will come long bike rides, warm winds and blue skies. My last summer here in Korea for a while I figure~ Then off the USA~ I haven’t had a summer there since 2010~ I love the idea of going back the way I’m doing it.
Going back for Burning Man~ It’s going to be so chill~
Can’t talk about that until it’s in the past tense, but the future looks good from here, real good.

To warm weather!!

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How to be totally tied up with nothing to do.

I showed up at work today with my worksheets already printed and ready to copy. First two periods of the day were scheduled as two of the three that I would teach all day. I rode in on my motorbike a 14 km ride through the winding country roads on a warming spring day feeling like I was going to accomplish tons today! I had 15 tabs open in my Mozilla browser, ready to hit and work with~ Jobs to apply for, for January 2014 when I plan to re-enter the work-force, Articles to read and consider to comment about for the ongoing conversation that is the sociological paradox of lots of noise but little shift, and Arabic on my mind, as I had printed some worksheets out yesterday to practice my handwriting. I was feelin’ good!

I rolled into the office, made my copies, made a coffee with a hint of chocolate and went upstairs 5 minutes early to get the Powerpoint ready to show… And then it began… The saga that was to engulf the entirety of my free-time for the rest of the day…
Korea’s schools have created a security firewall that won’t let me use my flash drive, but I can offer it to the system if I don’t ever want to use it in my own computer……
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that security in a school (read: government office) is a reasonable and useful thing… However, there is a purpose for the USB flashdrive, and that is the transfer of files from one computer to another. See, here’s the thing… That is no longer an option… As of today, my flash drive will only work on computers within the system, and will also require three passwords on the way in and two on the way out. Seriously?
Wow, okay. So, gone are the days that I could just pop my flash drive in with the new work I’d built on my computer at home and have the kids actually dig on their learning experience…
Ultimately, there is a work-around. I can email things to myself and then capture them in the system. Then move them around otherwise… Which kind of defeats the purpose of the whole system if you think about it. If I can just upload and download, there’s no actual security. So that’s fun.
I guess it’s all about monitoring. What else could it be?
Well, whatever. At least I deal well in analogue too. With the worksheets I printed out, I was able to have interactive classroom experiences and the kids had a good time practicing their English.

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That Awkward Moment When…

…you find out that a poem that you thought you had written was actually written by someone else 4 years before you were ever born…

When I published the poem, I genuinely thought it was one of mine. This is as timely a bit of notice to any reading public that I can give that I can see it clearly is his. This was not brought to my attention by anyone, I just noticed it.

The method Rainshine was born was that I wrote in notebooks that I kept for years and years…  When I decided to build Rainshine, I literally had cases of notebooks that I simply dumped out and tore through pulling out whatever seemed cool enough to keep, throwing away the gnarled scribbles of a youthful haze.

When I transcribed the pages (a process that took a whole year creating over 600 documents, both long and short), I copied what was on the page~ and many pages did indeed have citations of other people~ as seen in three locations in the book. I don’t at all mind giving credit when I know it’s due.

I honestly thought it was mine~ so I took credit for it because I found it in my notes looking like something that I would write. My work is not for money or glory, it is for the beauty of the word. I will continue to share the poem, but add the citation of “by, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj” from now on.

This error was noticed recently (maybe two or three days ago) ~ a friend of mine posted it in its original form, to his Facebook timeline and I had to start looking into it…  I believe that at some point, I read his poem, loved it, re-wrote it, then simply neglected to cite it due to my lack of forethought.  Another friend has reposted it in his timeline, but without citation since then.

I would like to set it straight that I no longer claim to be the original author of a poem I previously did claim. I stand by the entirety of my work otherwise. This was a stoned teenager’s mistake. It’s a beautiful poem. I guess I’ll have to write more stuff now…  Oh, I wrote a 37 page short story recently about a ladybug in love~ if you’d like to see it in beta, let me know.

Wisdom and Love

When I realize I am nothing,
That is Wisdom.
When I realize I am everything,
That is love.
And between these two,
My life moves…
by, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Shelter from the Storm

(Today my neighborhood was threatened by nuclear weapons, foreigners directly warned.)


Shelter from the Storm~

Sure could use some~ Looking around in the April skies the wind is blowing hard.
I offer to play cards, but all they are are words that fall on the deafest of ears busy ignoring more important noise.

Living in the shadow of imminent nuclear destruction is less warm and fuzzy than is sounds…

World leaders are ever so proud, not caring the crowd has to listen to the bellicose sounds they make wondering if we’ll lose the game ~ all for a game…

It’s nothing but a game to the ones who write the embargo pages, these ever-tightening strangle holds on wild beasts that are known to strike out when threatened.

It’s as if they kinda like the feeling of the old-fashioned brinkmanship game, but forget that the opponent is someone new.

Someone unbridled by memory of terrors, emboldened by new guns, old generals and a lack of access to fancy cars.

You think it’s more complicated than that.
It’s not.

I’ve got 4 months left in this country…  I’ve made it 20.  20 months and I’m really wanting to cut out~

Contract requires 60 days notice, and they’ve locked up well over 7,000 usd in holdings they won’t let me have until I leave~ Real nice.

Even if I gave it today, it would only be two months early and I’d lose 2,000 usd more in bonus for the early ditch.

Math is this~ If I leave in two weeks after my next check, I take 2,000 usd.  If I leave in 16 weeks, I receive over 18,000 usd in the closure.

So I’m in for the haul until  the last day possible. Ultimately, I know that there’s more than math to it, but I don’t always make the salad like this, so it’s important to harvest on time and not early.

Applications are now in play~ I am now open to trade as a free-agent~ I just hope that the coliseum doesn’t collapse underneath me.

Life is short enough without the settling possibility of local annihilation.

Cross your fingers for us over here~

It doesn’t look like anyone with actual impact is doing anything to help.

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A New Website

I’m just beginning a new page that can be more generalized than this page which is stapled to the land, as I am not.
Check it out at

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