Sunday, March 25, 2007


my other blog

check out my poker blog, it's updated a lot more regularily. i'll try to keep this updated more often, but almost any post here will just be a cross post. (i also have pics up from japan there)

john's blog

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm back from japan... and, well.... it's no Korea.It was a really cool country from the little I experienced of it. We visited nara and kyoto, but spent the majority of our time within osaka.It was pretty easy to get around, using the subways and trains. Most signs were in english so it made things simple, for the most part.The food was awesome, and probbaly the best thing about the trip. I stuffed my face 2-3 times a day, and all of it was delicious. From traditional japanese dishes to thier takes on western dishes, it was all great.The clubs and bars were pretty weak in osaka, I have to say. Lonely planet led us to the most happening nitelife area there, and it was pretty dead. MInd you, this was a weekday, but still. On top of all this, drinks are super expensive and you'll be spending like $8/drink in most places. There are a lot of all you can drink places which ends up being much cheaper, but most are on weekends I think. This is what we did on friday night.The night was just... weird. I wont go into details, but, there was a group of crossdressing foreingers there. Add this to some other drama, and it was...well....a weird ngiht.Anyhow, on to better things: the best part of japan.... the women.Oh.My.Lord.I don't even know where to begin. I guess I'll start with somehting that I've always said. There is no such thing as ugly women, only lazy ones. And these women are the furthest thing from lazy. The effort and attention to detail that goes into thier appearance is mind blowing. All the women get done up fully just to go to the convience store. Add this to the fact that they're generally more curvy then most korean girls, and you have a good combo. Even the punk or goth ones work so hard to pull of thier looks, it just works. I can't do them justice, so I'll stop. It's just something you have to experience.The only other cool thing in osaka was the red light distrcit. It was fun to walk through, but is nowhere near as interesting to see as korea's.Saturday was miron's bro's wedding. Unfortunatley I couldnt go to the ceremony, but the after party was great. Miron's bro found a good girl -- her and her parents took great care of us all while we were there.I'm not sure what day we visited nara, but the place was cool. There are literally deer everywhere. I think some king or something 'imported' a few a long time ago and think just multiplied. I don't quite remmeber the story. It was fun to hang out with deer that were so tame though.Kyoto was interesting too. One of the more unusual places we visited was adashino nembutsu-ji, which was a graveyard temple. We saw a lot of other little place there, but I wont go into details b/c you can all just research if youre interested. Kyoto was a very rich history. Most people just want to see the pics anyways, which I'll upload soon.My biggest dissapointment was not getting to hang out with geisha. It was like $3k to hang out with a few for an evening. They are pretty scarce these days, and the number of them are really dropping. And the day we were in kyoto, it was raining, so there werent any wandering around. Oh well, next time I suppose.I'd defintley visit again, especially because i still havnt seen tokyo. I may post some pics in a day or two.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007



plz enjoy tommy's post b/c i'm too busy/lazy

Monday, November 13, 2006


Cell phone fun

I'll start this post with a slight warning ~~ never, and I mean NEVER buy a used cell phone. You can't understand all of the hassles I've been through over the past few weeks.

Last saturday, me and Tommy decided we should finally get cell phones. It's become essential with all the new people we're meeting here. EVeryone here has a cellphone, and is in consatnt txtmsg(txtmsg) mode. ANyhow, our buddy Chris said he knew a place where we could get cheap cell phones and took us to this underground market. Noice?

There were soooo many cell phones and different vendors, the selection was ridiculous. We both picked phones and tried to get them set up. Only, I had forgotten my forienger ID. So Tommy gets his set up, and I just take my phone (I would get it setup on monday). Tommy's phone worked fine, but mine was locked. I had to go back and get a new phone from the same place, which took forever. Altogether it took us about 3hours there.

This is just the beginning.

So I go monday to set it up -- everyone in the store was supernice to me. A bunch of the girls were talking to me and flirting a bit. It was fun, but I was there for about 2hours. Eventually, I find out that they can't set it up, because the phone is locked from the provider as someone didn't pay thier bill. So basically they want me to pay the bill, then i can unlock the phone. Wtf.

At this point I was late for work, so I said I'd go tommorow. I didn't - I waited until next saturday (yeah, I'm lazy). So I go over on saturday (hung over to shit-- we had been out until about 9am the last night), with Chris and Tommy. Both are still hammered.

On top of all this, it Peppero day. Basically a Hallmark holiday where people give eachother candy in eloborate boxes. We bought some fake cardboard swords on the street and brought them in with us. They were filled with said candy, and I brought it as a gift for Song, the girl who'd helped me last time. So we walk into the store, brandishing swords, and the girls are a little wierded out to say the least. It doesn't help that Chris is yelling "I'm going to cut your head off", in korean. They calmed down once I gave they gift. You had to be there.

So I sit for two hours, pay the other dude's bill (which would be reimbursed), and wait some more. Eventually, they tell me the phone is fucked and I have to go back to the guy who sold it to me for a refund. So at this point I'm upset, but Song tells me she will take me there after work and help me sort it out. What a sweetheart.

So I come back in a few hours and pick Song up. She was a really touchy-feely person, which leads me to our next problem. We show up at the cell place and sit down. Things seem to be going great but Song has her hands on me and the lady helping us is getting visablly agitated. Not sure exactly what happens next, but the lady behind the counter flips. They both start barking at eachother in Korean for what seemed like forever. I could pick out a few words here and there, like "foreigner", as she pointed angrily at me. I'm pretty sure the lady was either insulting me or insulting Song for being there with me. Eventually the barking stops, and I look at Song who just bursts out in tears and walks away a few feet. I give the lady a "WTF" look and go to try to comfort Song. Good luck. I can barely comfort women in english.

So, Song tries to explain to me what happened, but she speaks about 5 english words, so no luck. Eventually the lady apologizes to me and gives me a new phone. Again, she says she cant set it up and i have to wait until monday. At this point I just want to take Song and leave, so I say 'whatever'. I bring her home, and then head back to my place to meet up with some guys. It takes me about 2 minutes of playing with my phone to realize that it, MY THIRD PHONE, is also fucked. The keypad doesn't work.

Ok, I'm rambling a bit now, I should wrap this up. I get my boss to call on monday, but he totaly misunderstood my problem. He called and got the messed up phone set up. I say it doesn't work, but he insists it does and calls it. I try to show him the keypad, but its useless. I'm just going to use the crappy phone. You just have to really jam down on the keypad to get the numbers to press. Weak... especially for txtmsg, txtmsg.

But whatever, I HAVE A PHONE.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Thanks Tommy

Looks like Tommy finally took some initiative and posted an update -- this is a pretty good summary of what I've been up to:

Lots of pics, lots of fun.

Monday, September 18, 2006



Long time, no update.

Things are begining to change here a lot. Our workplace has had a complete transformation, its scary. For one thing, they changed the name -- no longer are we working at Kang's English Academy, we're now working at IS. Apparently the letters sound good when translated into Korean? My bosses came up with the initials and I picked what the stood for. They didn't want the I to stand for "International", so I thought of Innovative Studies. Lame? I think so, but they ran with it.

What was hilarious was how fast they came up with everything. Honestly, they decided in one day to change the name, and then the next day they started getting up the new signs. They did EVERYTHING in that one day. Even the new logo, which is so unimaginative-- check it out:

I offered the services of the 100 or so graphic designers I know, but once I mentioned they would need to be paid, the bosses were no longer interested. So yeah, thats what the ended with. Hot website, right? LOL. Neon green is in. I would help them, but I think I would just be creating a shitonne of work for myself.

So yeah, more changes -- My supervisor, Esther, who was the sweetest woman in the world, got fired. I think me and Tom had somehting to do with it. We told our recruiter that she was "really sweet". That got make to the director, and apparently sweet translates to silly or foolish. Oops. Basically the director didnt think she was hard enough on us, but she didnt need to be. I mean, we're big boys and we know what needs to be done -- we don't need someone bretahing down our necks and being a bitch. We were happy to do work for Esther becasue she was so nice and was doing a lot for us.

Anyhow, some douchebag took over for her and I'm not fond of him. First he questioned my athletic ability (this guy fell off a horse when we went horseback riding), told me he hated me in a song(jokingly?), and then yesterday told me I was insane. Why am I insane? Because I whistle. I didn't understand exactly what he was trying to say(his english is pretty broken), but whistling is for thieves and crazy people. This is bad for me, because I whislte whenever I'm in a good mood (which is almost always if you know me). So I guess I'll have to break the habit.

He also said we can't listen to our iPods at work anymore. Bleh, I knew it was too good to be true. But now these tedious jobs are going to be 100x more boring.

But thats enough about that. What else have we been up to?

Last weekend one of the bosses took us up to the country to visit his parents. There is a Korean tradition where once a year people go to their ancestors graves and the cut the grass around it. Pretty nice. Once the work is done, they kneel and pray and ask for good fortune. Then they get a glass of Soju(alcohol) and pour in on the grave. I have some pics:

Ok, Tommy has way better pics than these...hopefully he will upload them. Oh and we saw lots of wildlife. Salamaders, frogs, huge preying mantis', dogs, cats, goats, cows, and my favourite, a donkey. We actually both got to ride the donkey. OH, and we foced the salamader to fight the preying mantis. It was awesome... I think Tommy got a movie of it.


The weekend before that we were just hanging out outside our building after having dinner with some people from work. Then a bunch of korean guys starting talking to us (but they couldnt speak english). One thing led to another and we ended up going to a club with them. We didnt even get there until 2am, but it was packed. We had to wait like 1/2 hour to get in. I guess it was worth it, they place was really lively. These guys got some private room for us all (6 of us) which had kareoke and a bunch of drinks and food. Then the waiters starting bringing random girls in. It was hialrious. The girls would come in, this crazy korean guy we were with starting talkign to them and scaring them, and they would leave. Then the waiters would bring more girls and the process would repeat. Or who knows, maybe I was whistling.

So apparently this happens a lot -- you get a private room and the waiters try to hook you up with girls. Makes everything so much easeir if youre lookign to hook up. Anyways, the whole thing got annyoing and me and Tom went to the dancefloor and partied it up till about 6am. It was a decent night.

The weekned before that we went horseback riding at our bosses ranch. Actually, I dont think it was his ranch, but he did have a horse. Apparently horses cost about 100k USD. So we rode the horse and did a little ATVing. It was OK, but the after party was better. Since everyone was rich, we were drinking some GREAT wines and Johnny Walker blue label. The food was also delicious. Again, Tommy's got pics of everything so I am imploring him to post them.

Ok, hopefulyy it wont be so long before my next update. Check back soon. Oh and leave comments please, so I know people are reading this and Im not wasting my time.

Monday, August 21, 2006



If you ever need a reminder to how badly you're out of shape, climb a mountain. This is what we decided to spend our weekend doing.

We ventured out into the outskirts of S.Korea with one of the investors at our school and a few of his friends. They were all older (45-55), but boy were they all in great shape. The oldest guy was a Master of a korean martial art, and also leads mountain climbs every weekend. The speed at which this old man went through the mountain was ridiculous. We didn't know exactly where we were headed, but it was somewhere within this:

It started off pretty easy, but I got tired... fast. Tommy was ok through most of it, and they were even making jokes that he should lead the next trip.

Our first stop was to hike to a buhddist temple at one of the mountain peaks. The scenery along the way was beautiful, but it wasn't always eay to enjoy. We were constantly moving, and you really had to watch your step:

Finally we arrived at the temple and it was beautiful. It was so calm and peaceful up there, I could've stayed all day (it helped that I was exhausted). Here are a bunch of pics from the temple and surrounding area:

We enjoyed some excellent green tea there, prepared by a green tea expert. They exist. She was really instense about the whole process, and I must admit, it was pretty delicious.Then the trek was back on to the the 3 different peaks:

The view atop each peak was beautiful. I'm not entirely sure which pics were taken where, so I'll just post the pics that turned out the best:

Finally we made it to the very top of the mountain:

(the bandanas were gifts from the guy we work with)

On the way down, we chilled in this little creek and washed up:

After we decended, we hit up this little bar(?) at the bottom which was serving food/alcohol. They had huge chairs:

We proceeded to drink, eat and make merry (I swear I was happier then I look).

When all was said and done, we had trekked through a lot of the mountain. It took us about 5 hours. We went from the point of my stick to my finger:

It was a really good experience, and we'll probably be joining them again in the future. There's this really beautiful mountain we wanted to check out, and will probably head there in the future (we couldn't go this weekend because there was a typhoon there). I can't remember the name, but it has all kinds of waterfalls and wildlife. At this mountain we didnt see much except a smallish snake.

Finally, here are some of the pics from last weekend at the basketball game.

Olympic Stadium:

The Game:

Some thing:

There are so many more pics from the game and the mountain, but this is taking me forever to upload. I'll share some more soon.

I, Tommy, have added some more pics here:

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