Wednesday, 28 September 2011

KST 8AM tomorrow

As far as I can tell I'm not having trouble sleeping.

In spite of this, my forehead has me convinced that there is a tiny invisible person standing on the bridge of my glasses, repeatedly kicking me between the eyes.

Everything is coming together finally, which is great considering I'm expected to be in a classroom teaching in about, oh, twelve days. Eleven, really, since I'm moving so far away that I will be thirteen hours in the future. All I can do right now is check in regularly with the Korean Consulate while they put my visa together, and once I have it, my flight gets booked and I'm off. Sometime between the 4th and the 10th. ...holy shit.

This is the first day in ages I haven't had to run off someplace or meet up with people. Don't get me wrong, I love you to bits, but I know you know exactly what I'm talking about. Being very busy, going everywhere at once, to-do lists keeping you awake, followed by sleep that ends far before your alarm goes off... You get it.
Plus it's been nice just having a quiet day, giving my parents a Skype lesson, watching a movie, having an epic tug-of-war with the dog... Gotta take advantage while I can, right?

I would like to add that it has been 4 hours since I started this note and the tiny man has since relocated to my ear or thereabouts, thus enabling him to headbutt me in the temple. It's only just now occurred to me that I could take a painkiller and end him.

...I really hope I get more entertaining once I'm in Korea. At least I'll have photos to distract you with.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Oops and things

So after painstakingly choosing the name of this blog, methinks I have spotted different ways of spelling the Anglicized versions of the Korean term for hello and thus have no clue which one is actually right. Fabulous.

I realize this thing is not exactly the most riveting of blogs. In my defense, I haven't actually left yet. The only stuff I can really write about right at the moment is a long list of To Do's before I go, and while I have a knack for making boring lists entertaining by sticking smart-ass commentary next to each item, I fear I lack the energy tonight.

Basically the list is this:

Buy more stuff and things.
Pack said stuff and things.
Convert what dollars are left from purchasing stuff and things into won.
Fly to Korea (on a plane, I mean. Because I'm not Clark Kent, despite what my current t-shirt claims).
Unpack said stuff and things.
Become nocturnal, kind of.
Inform everyone back home that I have arrived safely in the future.
Begin new job and hopefully learn to be awesome at it.

There's some other stuff in there too, I'm sure, but I can't think of it right now. I've got it written down someplace.

Also, there was a rather awesome party thrown for me the other night. I am so very loved and that is also rather awesome.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

I have the attention span of a gnat.

I guess the network decided I've been watching enough sadness. See, the live broadcast was abruptly cut off by some broadcast about Bernie Madoff of all things. I couldn't find it on another channel, but I did find the Rugby World Cup.

I'm shameless.

Where were you that day?

I didn't wake up in time to watch the start of the memorial because I've been just exhausted on and off these days, fretting about one hundred things or other.
I tuned in at around 11:15 or so to see them reading out the names of everyone who was killed that day and they were only at the M's. I think the services started at 9.
This, the reading of the names is really--I can't find words, but the amount of time it's taking... so many people. Gone. They have relatives of the victims coming up to read the names, letting them also read the names of the people they personally lost. It's heartbreaking. Every time a kid comes up my heart breaks even more. They probably barely even recall that day, if they were even born. One boy was about thirteen, and was there to read out his father's name. "I wish I could have known you better," he said.
Behind each pair of people doing the reading they have a soldier or a police officer or a firefighter, and there was one who nearly broke down while the names were being read. You could see him chomping down on his lip, his chin trembling.

By this time ten years ago I think I had already left school with my friends. There'd been an announcement from the principal over the PA system and I'd been in the library all morning where they had footage playing on the tv set, and I just remember thinking over and over 'This can't be real. This kind of scene belongs in a movie."
A lot of people left school that day just because there was no way anyone would be able to focus on classes. We watched more of the footage at a friend's place until we realized they were just playing the same stuff over and over again, that they still didn't know any more than they did before, so we switched it off.
I'm pretty sure I went home not long after that and promptly switched the tv back on. Morbid curiosity or shock, I don't know. I sure as hell couldn't focus on anything else.

Almost two hours I've been watching and they're on the V's.

Friday, 9 September 2011


I feel kind of like a jerk right now because I've made two different people cry this week over my imminent departure.

Furthermore, I wish my police check would hurry the hell up and arrive so I can stop having nightmares about it cocking up my plans and losing me this opportunity.

On the bright side, since I've not got anymore interviews scheduled, I can have a nice glass of something before sleep o'clock.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Let the madness commence.

So. It's been sometime since I possessed one of these puppies. A blog, I mean. I kept one or two in university because it was apparently what all the cool kids were doing, and frankly I liked it as a means of sharing random cool stuff I found on the internet with my friends. Then Facebook came along and said 'here, let us do that for you instead!'

Anyway, two things happened recently that have prompted me to start one of these up yet again.

First, a friend of mine, a fellow lover of words, suggested putting together a writing group. We could write anything we want, a short story, a blog, a sarcastic grocery list, whatever, just as long as we made sure to write something new every week. I think my response was something along the lines of 'hell yes, that is a fscking brilliant idea!'

Second, I've been trying for about a year now to get a job teaching English overseas, and I thought perhaps, should I be successful in this endeavour, I should write about it. A completely original idea, I know. As is my hope of landing a book deal, I'm sure.

I've been pretty much up to my neck in interviews for the past few weeks, and remembering my friend's idea, I thought I would get started. Plus I was going a bit nuts and needed to unwind. Below is what I've been penning. With my keyboard. Someday someone is going to look at a pen and ask what it is, and I might cry a little. I'm not always this boring.

August 25, 2011, 11:09PM, Korean time: 13 hours in the future.

It would appear that the first rule of attempting to secure overseas employment entails never leaving your home in the evening. Further, it would appear that a nightcap lacks wisdom as well.

On this fine night, after a short shift at my current place of employment—herein called The House of Books*—I returned home, feeling rather tired, given the borderline craziness of my week. Having procured a bottle of Coca Cola—truly a fine beverage, unmatched in its syrupy, caffeinated essence, although I admit Pepsi is also excellent—I opted to add a wee (see: epic) dash of rum to it, thinking it would be a fine way to unwind, and perhaps obtain a good night’s rest… and the phone rang.

As my luck is of the awesome sort, the person calling was someone wishing to interview me for potential teaching positions in Korea. Supposedly they had attempted to reach me a few nights ago, but as I was not expecting a call, I was not here. Rather, I may have simply been out on the front porch with a friend of mine who was visiting, enjoying the cool August night, listening to the crickets, watching the Toronto Blue Jays game on his iPhone (they lost 6-3 to Kansas, bah!)… Anyway, I contacted the school after learning I had missed their call, and informed them I would be available the next night (yesterday) and kept a vigil of sorts by the phone, which then had the decency to be silent all damn night.

We return to tonight. Given how tired I was before said magical beverage, the effects of the few sips I’d had were akin to running into a wall. Couple this with mild deafness, brought to you by my new pal, Random Summer Cold, and the sound of my brain laughing its ass off at me for this predicament, I am frankly amazed that I made it through the call intact.

Thank Santa it wasn’t a video call.

…That’s for another night. Lord help me.

*not the store's actual name.

August 26, 2011, 9:11PM, Korean time: Saturday morning.

It is entirely possible that I might die of tired and stress from all this delightfulness.

One of the schools whose attention I have managed to capture has asked that I write a short essay as part of the application process (I almost wrote paplication… let us move on from that image, shall we?), and so I have been trying to come up with valid points to make, wondering if the internet will be a valid enough source to cite from (if in fact they want citations), and I have around one day in which to write it since they would ideally like it before my skype interview on Sunday night. It is Friday.

I am exhausted largely due to last night’s unexpected call from Korea, which I was already tired prior to, and bordering on tipsy (see previous entry), and then afterwards I was entirely too awake to get to sleep as planned, and so at two o’clock in the morning, Eastern Standard Time, which is the time we have always used in my beloved Ontario (to my knowledge anyway), I think unconsciousness finally claimed me. However, I had to open the bookstore today. Very very glad I had the foresight to purchase that extra bottle of coke when I bought gas earlier. Needed it. Also, AwesomeBoss, Travis, was greatly amused by the tales of my escapades last night. I am 100% sure he thinks I am a raging alcoholic, but he seems to approve wholeheartedly.


Phone seems to be blessedly silent. Watching The Avengers (the 1961 tv series, not the hotly anticipated Marvel Comics film) with friend Ian and thinking I might actually sleep soundly tonight. I do approve of that possibility. Immensely.

August 30, 2011, 11:01 PM, EST, KST – lunch o’clock

It is surprisingly difficult to stare into a camera and talk about myself. I need to think more like Gaston.

September 1, 2011, Korea time: The FUTURE.

On a note completely unrelated to Korea, today one of our regular customers and I got into a discussion about cannibalism. Two things about this conversation were hilarious. One: This is about par for the course for me and this guy, and two: We couldn’t decide if people meat would be rich in protein, like chicken, or in iron, like beef.

Your thoughts?

September 7, 2011

Holy shit, I'm moving to Korea in a month.

...Word of warning? This is what I'm always like. I would also like to mention that I now own an e-reader and Hell now has an ideal climate for starting a hockey team. I do hope they know that New Jersey already has a lock on the Devils for a name.