Day 325

Thursday | January 17th, 2013

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One more day in the bucket and one more day to get through. The only good part is that the work-work chain-me-to-the-computer work will conclude with this day and not the last day. And, as a special bonus of yesterday work-work test-building-work, the last test is done, so I need not stay up all night screwing with “time” as in the timing of PowerPoint slides, the timing of animations, and the timing of audio files in the one long harmonious befuddling beguilement known as the mock test.

Furthermore, between last summer’s camp and this winter’s camp, enough of those tests have been created, that I might chance a proclamation that building this kind of file would never again equate to this type of struggle or late night suffering. But … bad software, that is software that is so poorly architected in a ten year time span (between 2003-2014 versions, to be specific) on two different systems (a Mac and a Windows system, to be specific) has a way of crawling up from the gutter apathy from which it was created to fuck your timeframe into pieces, blow through your deadlines, and fuck with your mind until the most logical fix seems to smash the whole computer and go take up something more fruitful, and logical, like basketball.

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Among the impossible things I tried to accomplish today in the name of ‘Every day computering needs on a Windows PC’ was removing Tuesday’s test from a testing computer. Sure, emptying trash can simulacrum is utter nonsense, which is why I like to keep a finger on the Shift key when throwing away something on a Windows Anything®. It’s much simpler that way: it was there, now it’s not. Instead of it was there, but like a fucking hobo dumpster diver you can open it up and sift through everything and find it again, untouched (unlike in say reality) and use it again without problems (very unlike reality) or washing (anti-reality). I wasn’t able to do this, so I turned to my old friend, the CLI (Command Line Interface), which I used to know well as DOS and now at the all powerful, Terminal. After a few moments of reconfiguring my brain to work in DOS and UNIX CLI commands, I tried to delete the file that way, only to have Korean barfed back by the computer (above). What an odd thing … how many people have considered that even the DOS interface on a Korean language Windows XP machine had been translated as well? Not me.

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Later, back in my work office as I tried to work on some of my audio files, I took a break to pee, only to find a mini-forest in the men’s bathroom (above). It was then I realized that Kipple and the Death Gods had been rolling in cackles in an alter-realm while watching my “mini-human journey of hardship and plight”—which was solved by killing the power to the machine (taking away it’s pseudo-soul) and turning on the life blood once again to see the machine cooperate and delete the file. Yes, very funny indeed what one chooses to get worked up about. Ha, fucking ha.

The second reason (the first being forgetting to get a flu shot) Meow has been sick all the time is because she has had to prepare students for their festival. Her students are preschool and kindergarten. She works all over Gyeongju at a variety of different kindergartens and daycare places. She works for a company that makes contracts, pays her an hourly wage (better than what she made in Seoul for the same company), and handles the business outside of teaching English. Most of these places have a festival at the end of the school year which is January or February in Korea. She had invited me to come watch her student’s on Friday the 18th, but then that performance was moved to another day. The other one was on Thursday the 17th, somewhere … and it turned out to be on the campus. (Which should explain why after work I was fiddling about in my work office instead of going straight home where the heater stays on for greater than 30 minute blocks.)

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Until I walked over to the building where the festival actually was, I still hadn’t grasped the concept of what this “festival” business was all about. Until I saw the set up outside the convention hall (above). All the usual Korea graduation ceremony knick-knacks were present: roses, bouquets of uglier flowers, shiny things, blinking things, special hats, and more flowers. By festival they really meant a kind of graduation since the kids had completed a year of “school”.

What I watched for an hour, standing in the back, batting out eye witness notes on my phone (below, unabridged), taking audio, and trying to get some pictures so people would believe me was astonishing not just in the overdoneness of it all, but in the costuming, choreography, song choices (by their teachers), and the almost universal ability of these itty-bitty children to perform.

orange with black polka dots — drum, cancertinas, brick bravos

blue suits for boys, pink dresses for girls choreography dance moves

black and gold, boys w/ police hats, sex moves

it’s not a celebration of festival it’s indoctrination and teacher glamour, competitiveness to the point of a vugarity which strips all nuances of being preelementary and quantifies them into little task focused robotic actions.

school out fits schooby do wop wa rift with chipmunk singing “I you she he baby” we can sing the sign words

red black silver chorus line outfits with fedoras centipede dancing to Michael Jackson I am the one

yellow with black polka dots, blue sequins for the girls with white skirts and blue polka dots

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These last few years education discussions in Korea (those at the instance of the driving force in of the market, parents) have centered on instilling creativity in children and how robotic attention to scores and studying for tests produces legions of idiots who can copy stuff like Facebook, Twitter, iPhone, iPad, etc., but could never have created them because while being incredibly smart and good at what they do, Koreans could never have conjured these ideas. This has given rise to the ‘creativity academies’ and children ‘studying art’. Never mind the obvious retardedness of the discussion, parents can and will worry themselves into the soup line as long as crap like this festival exists. The festival is a manual: How to Destroy Creativity in Your Child (in the name of fauxart).

The Daily Bullet

Trying out Histamatic to see what the fuss is about …

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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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