Day 323

Tuesday | January 15th, 2013

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Time all blurry now. The moments have bled beyond their untimely designation of timelessness. Each moment can now be tracked into corresponding blocks of human time as defined by clocks, stopwatches, the movement of a thin green line over a waveform of a student barfing English constructs into a mock test designed not to measure the dearth of language that could possibly gestate in a Korean mind and boil out on a Korean’s tongue, but aid in the relentless pursuit of false capitalism through language wealth. In sum:

  1. if you can secure a 75% score on this test—a six in TOEIC-speak—you will gain decent employment, the ogle of your immediate peers and juniors and a chance at the good life.
  2. if you can secure an 87.5% score on this test—a seven in TOEIC-speak—you will gain decent employment, the ogle of your immediate peers and juniors and a chance at the good life.
  3. if you can secure a 100% score on this test—an eight in TOEIC-speak—you will gain employment wherever you go, the ogle and worship of your immediate peers and juniors and all other Korean ELLs, and, the world will be your bitch all because you can explain movie times over the phone to citizens of Dumbfuckistan, solve First World service problems (e.g. “My hamburger doesn’t have pickles.”), and express your opinion in a coherent manner that will result in blank stares (e.g. “Dokdo belongs to Korea and not Japan because Korean people live there, so it’s part of Korea.”) instead of outright laughter (e.g. “Korea Kimchi body goood!”).
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This camp is the ultimate disconnect from everything I hold dear (personal time, family time, creative time, thinking time, sleeping time, friends time, etc.). This camp robs me of the very things which make life enjoyable, make each day a pleasure to meet. This camp is fifteen days of multitasking mindrape; it’s the closest this version 4 (life version 7, Korean life version 4) life gets to version 3 life where it was the CEC and little else.

The saving keel of this camp is that I excel in this environment. It’s day 13 of this camp and I’m in the groove. … it’s just that this time, the ramp up to this point has taken 12 days—that’s how divorced I’ve become from the realities of the CEC. I remember the moves and the attitude, but my mindscape resists it heavily.

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Somehow though, cat is keeping me grounded. Feeding cat is sort of like work because it takes time, but sort of like fun because cats are so awesome (even if this cat tries to fight me each time I slip into gooey mode and try to “pet the kittykat”). Even as a crazy, feral, backstreet cat, cat still knows how to get that string and punish the shit out of it for moving (above).

Meow is headed to Seoul on Saturday for a wedding and she will stay the night. Sunday when she returns, she will bring inlaws and kimchi. All other details fail me, as I’m fixated on the word ‘kimchi’. We are in desperate need of a resupply and the Gyeongsanbuk-do (re: Daegu, Gyeongju) kimchi just isn’t doing it. Kimchi, like a lot of things in Korea, is a regional thing. Down here they tend to cut more fish sauce into the mix making the kimchi … fishy. Some kinds even put a whole straight up uncooked fish in there. Meow’s mother, on the other hand, makes the best kimchi I’ve ever had in Gyeonggi-do (Seoul) or Gangwon-do (countryside near Seoul).

This will be our third resupply since moving down here. We have plans to have a mini kimchi factory in our pantry, but that is a ways off from being implemented. Meanwhile, we cry when our kimchi runs low, fight over who ate the last of a particular kind, and bow deeply when MIL comes with more.

As Meow will be gone for the weekend, I’ve decided to have a vodka mixer to 1) drink down the number of bottles of vodka which is currently 5, and 2) do that social thing like the ducks.

The Daily Bullet

Somebody misses his Daddy so much and is so desperate for some Daddy attention, that he will sit, rather uncomfortably and somewhat awkwardly, on my calves next to the “aluminum cat” just to get a dose.

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Daily Report

I didn’t sleep last night. I struggled to write or create a script that would grab an .mp3 from a folder, open it, insert markers in pre-determined places, split the audio file into eleven segments based on those

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Gyeongju

Out beyond the fake lake (Bomun) for Christmas Day lunch at a place called the Healing Kitchen. It’s all farms and hilltops here. And roads to more farms and hilltops. Except for the noise from the cars, I

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The Fourth Wall

I’m here and alive. Ten days behind the reality of my written life, yet here and alive. TOEIC is the predominant motif of life from the end of the semester until … today. This is the end, after

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This Old Hanok

When we had the bathroom done, we wanted to design our own window for the part of the wall which straddles the storage space along the side of the house. This way we could have clean airflow through

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