Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Job

I started my new job yesterday. Lets just say, it was interesting. The day started out with me getting totally lost on my way to work, I google mapped it the night before, but unfortunately it has been renamed and a new school has been built since google maps last updated. I showed up half an hour late, but all my boss had to say was "Well, at least you are here."

I should have taken that as a sign.

I spent the day just shadowing other teachers as they had the students, ages ranging from 8-19 do "work" of putting matching colors and shapes in separate containers. It seemed easy enough, so they left me alone with a barely functioning autistic/retarded kid who likes to wear shoes about 6 sizes too big and run wildly around the classroom, randomly knocking shit over. Well we sat down, and a co-teacher gave me gummy candies to entice him to do his "work". Unfortunately, his work turned out to be to very frustrating to him, so he immediately proceeded to claw the shit out of my arm.

The rest of the morning was uneventful. Unless you count when the jolly retard with the cart full of toy janitorial equipment was trying to tell me about his favorite toys.

"this is my mumble custom-toy owiol"

"What?"

"I said, this my mumble cust-my owwl" He tried again, getting really frustrated.

"uhhhhhh.....OK" Said I.

"Your custom toy?" Supplied another teacher.

"this is my mumble stom-um told"

"Well that is great!" I said, hoping to end this train wreck of a conversation.

"this is my mumble ustom-oy told" Not wanting to leave until his point was made clear.

"Your custodial?" Someone guessed.

"Yeah, that's what said!" He said, aghast at our stupidity.

"Well say "Janitorial" next time!" Said the other teacher.

After lunch we went to the afternoon kids. That is when the two most terrifying kids in the whole school show up. Of all the kids, 8-19 the two most terrifying are a pair of Autistic kids, 8 and 9 years old, both under 4 feet tall, and rail thin.

I thought to my self "This is the worst you got?"and then I tried to get one to pick up a toy he threw. All hell broke lose as he tried to devour my hand, and my arm was once again clawed to shit. I had a pretty tough time, and another teacher ran in and we restrained the kid, and got him back to his seat, saying the hell with the toy he threw. Then the other kid melted down, and the 3'5", 60+ lbs kid took fully four teachers to restrain the snapping, clawing, twisting ball of animal like fury.

All in all, not a terrible first day of work.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jobs

Everyone knows that the job situation in the USA is fucking terrible. The moment we got back here, the wife was like "Lets apply to jobs like crazy."

And I was like "Awww, do I have to?"

And she was like "Yes! I am not going to piss away all our savings!"

So we both applied for jobs. She especially wanted us to apply to those in Edumacation so as we can gets our teaching degrees and go back overseas to teach English real good. She also was determined to stay down in Goat town, as opposed to rainy-town.

Two months later, I get called for an interview. Then I get a second call on Monday. Apparently I now have a job in the public schools as a teacher's aid. It comes with full benefits for the whole family. I get winter vacation, spring break, and summers off. And guess who is pissed.

"You shouldn't have taken that job!" She tells me. "I want to move back to rainy-town!" She growls. "You should quit!" Even though I have not had my first day yet.

I tell her, that it was her idea in the first place, and that it was everything that she wanted. So she tells me "You should not listen to me!"

What?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pie

My wife is not know for her amazing cooking skills. In fact she is actually known for her complete lack of cooking skills. Yet every year around Thanksgiving time, it is time for her to bake a pumpkin pie.

I believe she grows insanely jealous from every year from all the praise and adoration that I receive for my massive cooking skillz and cock. So she ventures into the unfamiliar territory of the kitchen to ruin approximation 16 ounces of pumpkin, sugar, coconut milk, egg re-placer and pumpkin pie spice.

In the previous years we have experienced, burned pies, sugarless pies, pies with roughly 10 millimeters thick and the infamous "pie with no crust". This is my wife's usually process for cooking pumpkin pie:

Step one: Forget to cook the pumpkin.
Step two: Randomly substitute ingredients.
Step three: Burn the pie.
Step four: Serve burned pie-like abomination, then wonder why no one wants a piece.

This year however, my wife took the radical step of actually finding a recipe for pie. She went shopping and bought the actual ingredients. She still forgot to cook the pumpkin, but lucky she married me, so I cooked the pumpkin and scooped into a bowl for her.

She then measured the ingredients and put them into a blender. After arguing with me and others about random ingredient swapping (she relented, and finally decided that based on history, it wasn't such a good idea) she blended the ingredients and then wandered off.

So I made a crust for her. And poured the pie mix into the crusts. I however made her cook them herself. However, after putting them in the oven, she promptly forgot all about them. Luckily her Uncle's convection oven uses a timer, and it shut off by itself before it burned the pie to a crisp.

The pie this year did not turn out so bad, especially when covered with copious amounts of my famous vegan whipped topping.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The thrill of the hunt

Last weekend I took lil' Fantaboulous out to her grandparents house. Her Grandparents live between Eugene and the coast, on fifteen acres of land right on the side of a busy highway. The reason I brought her out was the mighty Oregon Chantrelle.



The Chantrelle is quite common on Grandpa Awesomecool's land and easy to identify. It is also really fun to find, its like an Easter Egg hunt for adults. Even mini-Fantaboulous likes to go looking for the tasty shroom, even though if a mushroom is in the same room as her dinner, she wont touch it.

We hiked up into the great wooded mountains where the feisty orange fungus lurked and began to hunt. The Grandparents had marked out some areas of the mountain on a previous expedition of where the had found "loads of Chantrelles, more than we could pick." We found the taped area and began to look around, after about fifteen minutes, I had found two mushrooms.

"They are right over this ridge." They kept saying. We kept hiking and hiking, and nary a mushroom was to be found. The grandparents kept making excuses and saying "They were here last time..."

I finally found a small patch poking out of some loose pine needles and began to gather, I called lil' Fantaboulous over so she could participate, but before she could get there Grandpa Awesomcool pounced on them like a fat kid on a cupcake, and grabs everyone in sight.

I broke away from my parents with lil' Fantabulous to see if we could find some without my mushroom hungry parents grabbing them all. I found another patch of mushrooms and let my 13 year old began picking them in earnest.

Then my parents little mutt of a dog, runs over to us. The thing looks like a doberman crossed with a pitbull, but is the size of a tea cup poodle. The thing acts like a five year old who has been freebaseing pixie sticks. It begins to jump all over us, trying to lick our faces, while manically and precisely stomping on every single chantrelle in the immediate area. So I grab the little bitch(because that is what she is) and toss her into the bushes. She bolts back out and plays "steamroller" on the few remaining mushrooms.

A little while later I find another patch of shrooms and give lil' Fantabulous a third chance to gather. However, she began moving around like a butterfly with ADD, picking up every mushroom that was distinctly not Chantrelles.

"Dad! Come over here! Look at this one! Have you seen one like this before?"

I walk over and look. "Yeah, I have seen those ones, pick the Chantrelles honey."

"Dad!Come over here! Did you see this one before? It looks like a boob!"

I walk back over. "Yeah, that's great Honey, I have never seen those before. Lets just pick the chantrelles though. OK?"

"Dad! Dad! Dad! Come over here, quick!"

"Why? Did you find another weird looking mushroom? Because I am only interested in Edible mushrooms. Don't call me over unless you find some chantrelles."

"No, Dad, come over here! Its important, come here!"

So I march back through the wet brush. "What is it?"

"Look at this bug!"

I sent lil' Fantabulous to go pick mushrooms with her grandmother, and went off with Grandpa Awesomecool. I tried to stay at least 50 feet from my dad, to prevent him from poaching all the shrooms I would find. We kept finding small patches, while wandering farther and farther from Grandama and lil' Fantabulous. After about 30 minutes Grandpa gets a call on his cell phone saying that they had found "A huge patch of mushrooms" and that we "Should come back right away!" to pick them. So my dad says that we should wander back the way we came.

I kept telling him "they are going to be finished by the time we get there!" But dad insists on heading back, and so we go. After stopping for a few small patches that Dad missed on the way, we finally hike all the way back to where we started.

"We finished picking them all, there actually weren't that many after all." Says Grandma Awesomecool.

"I found a pretty rock!" Says lil' Fantabulous.

Then the rain came down in typical Oregon fashion, in sheets and sideways.

"Well...That's enough of that, lets get the fuck out of here." Says I, and we do.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not feeling it

Since I have been back in the US, I don't really have anything to say anymore. Not that there is not a lot of things to talk about, like overwhelming numbers of fat people, people with dogs, fat people with dogs, trucks, fat people in trucks, fat people with dogs in trucks, etc.

America has become really, really boring to me. Actually, more annoying than boring. After hearing what people have to say in this country, and watching TV that I can understand for the first time in a year, I actually miss not understanding what people are saying.

I was at the local grange with my daughter, picking up hay and goat food for "Crazy old one tit" When I heard a couple of fat American women talking about their dogs.

"The thing about Callie here is she has a really unique personality"

"Wow, really?"

"You know how some dogs get excited when they see people or other dogs?"

"Oh, tell me about it. My dogs get really excited when they see people or other dogs."

"Well, her is the thing about my Callie. She gets really, really excited when she sees people or other dogs!"

"NO, WAY!"

I cant actually remember what they said, but I was just struck by how stupid their fucking conversation about their stupid dogs was. Its a fucking dog, everyone in america has one, and they might seem like they are unique and interesting to you, but at the end of the day, it eats, it shits, it barks. It is still just a fucking dog.

Then my daughter went on an overnight camping trip. On the trip the teachers made all the students try some salad. One of the students gagged, because she had never had salad before. She spit it out and said. "This is not real food."

OMFG. This is why our kids are fat. Well not my kids. My kids eat salad. Your kids are fat.

Monday, September 27, 2010

No love for chocolate

I had been wondering what had happened to Black Mike, AKA Black Child, AKA Chocolate love thunder, since leaving Kimchi land. Apparently he is living in Taiwan now and up to his old tricks again of pissing off every single Asian and fat Caucasian female that crosses his path.

While in Korea, Blackchild had the attitude of 'Fuck you. I am a Black American, I don't put up with this type of bullshit back home and I ain't got to put up with your bullshit here.'

This, of course upset Koreans terribly. 'I Kolean, I have ta put up with da burrshit, why you tink you no have ta put up with da burrshit too?'

Much to the dismay of his employers as well as the Korean country men and women who resided in his little slice of rice paddy that he called home, they ended up with a confrontational black man (slightly more scary than the average black man). He got in fights with locals over their racist bullshit (which is part of their heritage, and was culturally insensitive of him!) shamed his employers when trying unsuccessfully to screw him over at every turn (as is customary), and pretty much took a giant shit on the Korean Kulture of treating foreigners like the shit they get treated like by other Koreans.

Eventually Mike just put an end to the fighting and left a land strewn with empty Soju bottles, to return to one strewn with empty crack vials. And then he dropped from the blogging scene, only reappear in Taiwan. Where he is being forced out of his current residence for the crime of being Black (and therefore scary) and not attracted to fat white bitches (whaaatt? Are you sure you are black??).

Apparently because some great white whale moved in next door to Blackchild, and as a result she has developed Ahab syndrome and is afraid of getting a great big, black harpoon shoved down her blowhole. So the building owner (who is his boss) is kicking him out, to prevent the impending blubber harvest. She is also not getting him a new place, or helping him with rent, when she had provided him the current residence at a discount.

What would I do in this situation? Well first of all, I would not be black, which believe me, other than being unable to dance and sucking at sports helps immeasurably (you should give it a try sometime). Was I still white and in this situation, I would go 'Oh, that is rather unfortunate, I guess I will find alternate accommodations, thank you very much for kicking me out and have a nice day. Oh, by the way, can I give you any money for your troubles?'

Which is not what Mike did at all (How un-white of you!). He said 'Fuck you, I am a Black American, I don't put up this type of with bullshit back home and I ain't got to put up with your bullshit here.'

To which their reply was 'I Taiwanese, I have ta put up with da burrshit, why you tink you no have ta put up with da burrshit too?'

Same shit, different country, Mike?

PS. to Chocolate love thunder:

I am very disapointed that you don't have a link to my blog on your blog :(

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Running down the clock

Well we have four days of teaching left before we blow this Popsicle stand. Sadly just as my bromance with husker was starting to heat up...sigh.

The wife and I have been packing for the last couple weeks, (about 1 item per day) and have yet to finish. We are trying to use up all the food in our kitchen, today I gave the building guardian some dubious tok (korean rice cake) that had been sitting in our refrigerator for at least two weeks.

His face lit up with joy when he received the small gift, which was in fact, a half hearted attempt on his life. You ask why was I trying to kill our guardian with spoiled, processed rice products? I good sir, ask you, why not?

It both brings joy and sadness to leave this land. We have had a comfortable life, easy jobs, and almost zero responsibilities. We are trading that for a shitty job market, high rent,no health insurance, low pay, and if we even find jobs, actually having to work (the horror!). I am happy that I will be able to buy clothes that fit once again (shoes especially, seriously what is with the pixie sized feet?) as since arriving here I have lost over 20 lbs. and will be leaving almost my entire wardrobe. It will also be nice to be able to go to grocery stores that don't have just 5 aisles a soy and fish sauce aisle, a red paste aisle, a ramyan aisle(not to be confused with ramen, which of course is completely different), a noodle aisle, a tea and coffee aisle and a snack aisle. Some variety will be nice.

Working here has been the easiest job in my entire life, the pay was not high, but it was more than enough to support five people and other than paying for an extensive summer vacation we saved most of my wife's paycheck. I have not made a lesson plan since April, and that was the same one I made in November that I just kept turning in. Sometimes I almost feel guilty for taking the money because this job is so easy, them I remember all the bullshit I have to put up with and the guilt fades.

My wife has to the surprise of everyone who knows her lasted her entire contract (I may be jinxing it, she could decide to take off tomorrow). The longest she had lasted at any job in her past was six months.

We really don't know what we are going to do when we go back, look for work, go back to school, live in 150 miles apart since both of our kids want to live and go to school in different towns? Should we move to Texas or Arizona, should we stay in Oregon? Get our masters degrees in ESL or teaching? Get different degrees? I just don't know.

It can be pretty shitty when you are in your mid thirties and still not know what you want to do with your life.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Husky husker who husks

Last week I called out a Husker as having a crush on Mrs. Awesomecool AKA Superfantabulous. His response to the allegation was a big guilty silence. I thought as much. Never trust a husker around your women folks, or farm animals for that matter.

Someone accused my wife of being a control freak, even though are daughter is 3,000 miles away and being watched by her 20 year old Aunt. The little ms. thang found herself at a party where the parents left a group of 12 year old boys and girls totally unsupervised. She had wanted to spend the night at the party, where our response was a resounding "NO" heard clear across the Pacific ocean.

Later we learned that before Mini-fantabulous was taken home by her Aunt, she had wandered the night with unsupervised with the 12 year old boys and girls, and the police were called on their little group for harassing elderly women. The next time we contacted her, she had found herself once again without supervision at a different friend's house alone with a pack of hormonally charged 16 year old boys, where she wanted to stay and watch the premier of GLEE. To which any sane parent would of course say 'NO!'.

One of my wife's readers had a problem with our saying no to this:

"wow. talk about a control freak. Kids will be kids, boys will be boys and girls will be girls. The more your try to control it, the more they will rebel in the future. You think you have problems now? Wait until they're big enough to go tell you to fuck off.

I may not be the most perfect dad, but my kids realize that and as a result, are pretty open and honest about stuff. They need to make mistakes to learn from them and if you keep trying to shelter them from that, they'll make bigger and more mistakes."

1st of all, my daughter has been telling me to 'fuck off' since she was 5. Secondly how can you be a control freak when you are in a completely different country from the one you are suppose to be controlling? At best she is a remote control freak. Thirdly fuck you. Fourthly you would have to be a complete idiot to think that leaving a cute 12 year old girl (with boobs) alone with a pack of sex crazed 16 year old boys is acceptable in any way. Fifthly I am not a perfect dad either, but when I have the sense to not put my twelve year old in situations where she can get raped or impregnated that is NOT being overprotective. That is being a good parent with some fucking common sense.

The whole point of parenting is to protect your children until they are old enough and mature enough to protect themselves from danger, but mostly from themselves. Its not to let them run wild on the streets with an attitude of 'that'll learn them'. Maybe mr. anonymous (if that is his real name) does not have any daughters, or just does not remember what it was like being a 16 year old or has shown up on to catch a predator, I don't know his story but I do know kids who were left to make their own mistakes. Those kids made serious mistakes, they ended up pregnant at 14, in jail, on drugs, fathering children at 15 or dead. I am speaking about kids I grew up with. The ones with overprotective parents left my little po-dunk town and went to college, had careers and had much better lives than those who were left to run wild.
Mr. Anonymous


My parents at least tried to keep a leash on me, tried to keep me from hurting myself, I may have resented it at the time, but I appreciate it now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Finishing the work week

Today is Monday, the first and last day of my work week. It seems silly to come to school for just one day, but then again, it is Korea.

About half the students showed up for class, the rest having migrated to whatever hometown either their grandparents or firstborn sons of their families are living in for the Chuesok holiday.

The wife did not have to come to school today, since her school realized how kick-ass it would be to have a whole fucking week off instead of having everyone come to school for just Monday. I guess I should not complain too much, I am getting a six day weekend, and I have heard of other schools that are making people work Monday and Friday. I feel sorry for those guys, but hey, 3 days off in the middle of the week is still better than nothing.

It was a good thing I showed up a little early today, because in typical Korean fashion they randomly decided to start my classes at 8:30 instead of 10:00 without saying a fucking word to me. I did not even realize it until I got to my classroom and found it full of students, to whom I asked "What the fuck are you doing here?"

When I travel with my wife, I usually don't make it to school until a little after 8:35 since we usually like to make out at the bus stop by our schools. Its kinda hot.

All my classes today were full of knuckle draggers, and at one point my co-teacher told me to "give up" because "they have no idea." I was trying to get them to read and practice some simple dialogues about "going to the library this weekend" but it was way over their heads. What is really terrible is that these are the 2nd grade students, and the worst of the first grade students can read and speak Englishee in circles around these kids.

One of the second graders today, thought the word M-O-R-E spelled make. And kept saying "would you like some make steak?" You would think since all these kids started Englishee in Kindergarten that they would be able to read four letter words.

Either the first graders have gotten smarter since my wife started at the Elementary school, or
they have been getting progressively worse at Englishee since I started teaching here.

Probably the latter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My pants

I own a magical pair of pants. I swear its true. How do I know they are magical? Its quite simple really. Every day when I go to work, I say hello to my co-teachers, get my cup of tea, and fill my water bottle. Every day people say hi, or ignore me and I wander off the solace of my office at the ass end of the school to be ignored and left alone. Which is fine by me.

Unless I wear my magic pants.

I bought my magic pants from a goodwill a few months ago. When I tried them on, they fit but were a little too tight. I bought them anyways, figuring that either they would stretch out after wearing them, or I would eventually lose a pound or two and they would fit. They were only 5,000 won anyway, so I really did not care that much.

The first day I wore them to school, every single female at my school asked me about my diet.

"Oh, Awesomecool, you face so thin."

"Oh, Awesomecool, you no fat. Can I see your sex-pek?"

"I soo jearous, what diet?"

I told them that I was not really on a diet as much as just doing regular exercise and eating less more often. I showed them all the bodyrock.tv website and said "Just do what she does 4-5 times a week for 12-20 minutes a day."

They did not "rike dat" because "her muscer too big".

To which I replied "There is no way in hell that any of you will ever get muscles like her doing these exercise. It takes a genetic disposition to muscle growth and serious dedication to look like that." But my comments fell on deaf ears.

The rest of the week I wore some more loose fitting jeans, and other slacks and received absolutely no comments, so I figured they were over wanting to see my "sex-pek". The following week I wore my "magic" jeans again, and low and behold....

"Oh, Awesomecool, you face so thin."

"Oh, Awesomecool, you no fat. Can I see your sex-pek?"

"I soo jearous, what diet?"

I explained once again my workout and diet regiment, which once again they did not like. Then the following week I wore the pants again, and they gave me the same compliments and asked the same questions.

After buying the pants around 3 months ago, I wore them yesterday, and this is what they said:

"Oh, Awesomecool, you face so thin."

"Oh, Awesomecool, you no fat. Can I see your sex-pek?"

"I soo jearous, what diet?"

I tell you they must be magic to cause monthly, even weekly memory loss to an entire office of women. Either that or Koreans only have short term memories or just like to look at my ass in tight jeans.


By the way, they are too loose now, and I need a belt to hold them up.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Husking in Korea

Apparently someone has been husking in Korea, I am not sure what that means, but I think it is an euphemism randomly tearing the clothes off of innocent subway patrons, as if one was shucking an ear of corn, only more rapishly.

You have all been warned. The Urban dictionary also has a definition for husking, but I like mine better.

This guy seems to have a raging boner for my wife, and has written about her several times in his blog, which has inflated my wife's already inflated ego. He has also mentioned me, but not as lovingly, or even bromancianly. My feeling (singular, as I have only one feeling and that is blind rage) has been hurt.

What has two thumbs and wants to bang your wife? This guy.

So I have given a Husker in Korea a space in my sidebar. Nebraska sucks!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mid terms

Mid terms are coming up the first week of October. The head of the Englishee dept. wants me to finish chapters 7-9 for the upcoming tests. This would not be that big of a deal except we started classes the last week of August, and have had field trips, listening tests and the Chuseok holiday in that time.

The first week of Classes I sat out almost every class. Normally we have two months to get this much done, allowing at least two weeks per chapter. I have only had my Tuesday and Wednesday classes twice this whole time and will only have them once more before the exam. It normally takes at least two classes for the high level students to finish a chapter, but I only have 3 classes for three chapters. What really sucks a donkey dick is that Tuesday and Wednesday are the low level students.

And I mean low level. Basically kids with a full on retard for Englishee. I am talking about writing letters backwards, kids that cannot count to ten, or say the Alphabet and answer questions like:

"What is your favorite color?"

With "Ball!"

Our school gets special funding because of these kids. Hell, our high level students can barely read. Our low level students literally have the lowest test scores in the whole entire province. If I can get them to utter a single word in English, it is cause for celebration. If they can answer a question using two words or more, they are immediately escorted from class and moved up into the mid level classes.

After the mid terms we will have almost three entire months to finish the next three chapters before the end of the year finals. I asked if we could push the tests back a week or two, but the answer was no.

Well whatever, its not like actually teaching the classes would have any affect on their test scores anyway. Most of them will probably get their name wrong on the test.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

You better not blog about this!

"You better not blog about this!" is a threat I receive daily from Mrs. Superfantabulous. It is OK if she blogs about my manorexia, or bouts with soju but should I mention the batshit crazy stuff she does, it somehow violates her privacy.

That is why I wont blog about how since our children went back to the USA she has become a Howard Hues like shut in, never leaving the house except to go to work.

I will not blog about how she slapped me in the face while on a crowded bus, because I happened to be singing the song 99 problems to myself.



I also will not mention how when waiting for a bus, she decided to head butt me, and then said to me accusingly "Why did you do that?" or how this morning, she decided to take a shower, disrobed then spontaneously started doing stretches in front of our wide open windows, much to the delight of any Korean who happened to be wandering by at the time.

For respect for my wife and her privacy I will not be blogging about any of these things now or in the immediate future, because I am a good husband.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wanted


Last night my Superfantabulous and I watched Wanted.


It was a pretty entertaining movie, not to be taken seriously of course with dramatic way, way over the top action scenes with reminded me of the much under appreciated "Last action hero" staring the Governator.



During the first car chase scene Angelina Jolie is driving a red sports car that magically makes cop cars exploded when rammed, but mysteriously cannot outrun a dog food delivery truck. It probably is one of the best car chase scenes I have seen cars flying over other cars, bullets flying, explosions and all of it too insane to be taking serious at all. During that scene this is miss Superfluousness:

"Gasp!"
"Oh, my god!" Hand covers mouth.
"WOW!"
Sharp intake of breath from the danger.
"Gasp!" again
'Whoa."
"Did you see that?" I am sitting next to her, watching the same movie. So yes, I did.
"WooooW" (extended wow.)
"Gasp!" number three.
"Ohmygod!" (Oh my god in one word)

What should be noted is that Mrs. Superfantabulous is no fan of the action genera, and in fact hates car chase scenes with a passion. So for her to enjoy something so immensely and to be on the edge of her seat with excitement means that this was no ordinary car chase scene, and the movie was a step above the other mindless shit rolling out of Hollywood.

It was still mindless shit of course, just slightly better mindless shit. I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Adultry

I am an Adulterer. I have cheated on my wife many, many times.

There are many types of Adultery. There is heterosexual adultery, homosexual adultery, adultery with prostitutes or ex-sex. Any of these types of Adultery would be preferable to my wife than the type I do.

DVD Adultery.

One of the reasons we have been married for over 13 years is we have similar tastes. We both have dry sarcastic senses of humor, matching political and religious views so when one of us finds a TV show or movie they like, the other usually likes it too. And when you like something, and are in a committed relationship you its always best to enjoy something you both like together.

Everyone knows that its more fun to watch a movie or TV show with someone else, but what if the other person does not have the time to watch the movie or TV show? What if you really want to know what is going to happen in the next episode? What if work and family get in the way of you finding out what happens to Bill and Sookie? What if you have been waiting what seems like forever to see "Kick Ass?"

The temptation is overwhelming. I have the files downloaded on my computer, I have hours and hours of free time at work, and there is only so many things you can do on facebook to while away the time. It gets hard to resist.

I try to distract my hunger with shows that only I like, we both like the Daily show, so I cant watch that, but only I like Colbert which is almost as good. But that only satisfies me for so long (since the bastard goes on vacation like every other month). So then I watch some other show she doesn't like (We have "safe" shows. I like "Rescue me" but the wife doesn't, she watched all the episodes of "Dead like me", "Six feet under" and "Grey's anatomy" which I just never got into) but then I finish watching all the current episodes.

Finally I succumb. I scratch that itch, and it feels sooooooooo goooooood. Then as the credits roll, the guilt washes over. I have committed a cardinal sin (in married life) , I have cheated on my spouse.

Sure I can "Fake it" and watch it again with her, but its never as good as the first time. You already have heard the Jokes, you know the plot twists, the surprises, the scary moments, you know who survives and who dies. And you feel horrible for knowing, but mostly you feel bored for watching it again. And guilty. And maybe a little hungry. So you go to the kitchen to get a snack. Right during the suspenseful part. And that's the tell. That is where you fucked up.

Accusations fly

"You already watched this!"

"No I didn't!"

"Oh my god! You are a terrible liar! You did! You did watch it!"

"I'm so sorry, I just couldn't take it any longer...I have ...needs"

"I cant beleive you would do this to me...to us...Have you been watching anything else?"

"No, it was just this one time, I swear."

"Your lying!"

"OK, OK, I watched a few episodes of "Vampire diaries" but I swear i did not enjoy it" another lie, sadly I enjoy all vampire based teenage dramas. Really. I don't know what is wrong with me.

Of course we fight, and it comes out in the fight that she has been watching "Weeds" at work. So then we both make up and swear never to never do it again.

But it is only a matter of time. New episodes of "Dexter" are starting.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

English Lessons

As I have already stated countless times, I don't really do lesson plans. The school I work for has mandated materials that are all covered in CD-ROM. It has lessons in grammar, reading, speaking and listening with audio and video tracks all performed by Native English Speakers.

Even though there seems to be a high production value in the materials, they are of course are rife with spelling and grammar mistakes, and the odd Englishee such as "I have never written or gotten a letter since last year."

All the dialogue is terribly boring, performed by ugly actors with droning monotone voices. There is absolutely no effort being made to capture the interest of the students who pretty much zone out when I play the videos. It takes a herculean effort just to pay attention.

In the chapter we are doing right now I noticed some writing on one of the actors T-Shirts. This is what it said:



It was worn by one of the Native English Speakers. I guess someone has a sense of humor.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Since our children have left my wife has been beside herself. We knew it would be difficult once they left, but I had no idea how hard the woman would take it. She has begun a slow but steady decent into complete madness.

The first few days were mostly displays of crying and moping, resulting from finding objects left behind by the children and the oppressing quiet of an empty home. Some of it was from her too.

This weekend the constant mating calls of the cicadas drove her to screaming madly for silence out the windows, sending children, women and even a few grown men running for fear of the gigantic, female, long head with a big voice.

This weekend she refused to leave the house except to venture out to buy food, and only because she cannot bare to be alone.

She is having trouble going to sleep at night, and last night she demanded that I "pet her" until she fell asleep and wanted me to "purr" as I pet her. I of course refused, as the pet-ee should be the one who purrs, not the pet-er.

Petting her and me purring? That's just crazy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

One of my students made this awesome video. He is a really good dancer.

Second week at work

On my way to work this morning my wife told me "Have a nice day at work, Sucker!"

Why am at work, unlike my shiftless wife? She decided to use one of her 14 or so unused sick days to stay home with the offsprung on their final day in Kimchiland. They are flying back to the good old US of A-holes to get their edumcations at our fine pubic schools where I am also got my edumacation.

People think that Korean public schools are really great, and they are for teaching math and science, but not much else. In America, most students know that their are 50 states in the USA, they may only be able to name around three of them including their home state (New York, and California being the other two) less if they live in either New York or California. Some might be able to name Hawaii and Alaska because they are both located south of California in the middle of the ocean near the Mexican boarder, yet for some reason only one is tropical, where the other suffers from a sub arctic climate...odd.


And people on the news always complain that 99% of Americans cannot find Afghanistan or Iraq on a map of the middle east, but most of my students did not even know where Australia is, and it is a fucking continent (Oceania assholes, go ahead and google that bitch. And yeah I know its New Zealand, Indonesia and a bunch of islands too, but Australia is the main land mass, you nit picking sons of bitches.).

I know that math and science are very important, but I think learning about the world around you, peoples and cultures are also pretty damn important too.

When my students did not know where Canada and the US were, I figured that they must spend their entire geography and social studies classes focusing on Korea and its people and history, which most Koreans think is pretty fucking important.

So I asked my students how many provinces were in Korea, which I knew there were 9 (I swear I did at the time, but may or may not have just looked it up on Wikipedia) but my students had no idea. The students and my co-teacher also had no idea what the population of Korea was 49,773,145 (they thought it was way more), and when I showed them on the board their population, compared to the US 310,118,000 (also may or may not be recently googled) after slowly counting all the zeros out loud (I mean what is that? Why cant they look at 1,000 and say "one thousand"? or 1,000,000 and say "a million" what is with the complete lack of number recognition?), they gasped in amazement that there were so few Koreans compared to Americans. I did not want to even tell them how many Chinese or Indians there are, for one thing it would have taken the rest of the class for them to count all the zeros.

I thought that they might have a little more knowledge about where they live than American students, but not really. So I have no idea what these kids are learning for 10 hours a day at public school and 8 hours after school, but it sure aint about the world they live in.

Or how to count by tens.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hellie Pol-tor

If you teach English in Korea, you are asked about what you like on a daily basis.

"Teacher, you like Kimchi?" For example. If you have not been asked this one million times then you are not teaching in Korea. The other standbys are if you like "rice", depending on your sex Korean "women or men", Korean food (which for some reason is a separate category from rice and kimchi), and various K-pop bands and Korean celebrities that are virtually unknown to anyone not born on the peninsula.

However there was one thing I kept getting asked that I had no Idea what it meant.

"Teacher do you like Hellie Pol-tor?" I would be asked randomly

"What?"

"Hellie Pol-tor?"

"What the hell is that?" I had no idea what the fuck they were asking me, and one student in particular would ask me it about my opinion of "Hellie Pol-tor" once every two weeks. The student who asked was actually one of my better students, and spoke English fairly well, but would get very frustrated when I asked him to explain what the fuck a "Hellie Pol-tor" was.

I eventually figured out that it was a movie, but did not know if it was Korean or mainstream. Then one day I was browsing movies at the local library when all of a sudden it hit me. "Hellie Poltor" was known in America as "Harry Potter", one of the most popular book and movie franchises of the recent decade.

I cant believe it took me like 6 months to figure that out.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First day of classes

Yesterday I returned to work, but since I had not created a schedule for the classes I would teach, I taught no classes.

Today is my first day of actual teaching I have scheduled 3 classes. My first class was scheduled for 10 am, so when students started arriving at 9:00 am, I told them too get the fuck out. They left. Were they suppose to be there? Who knows. I don't really care either. It might have been that they very well were suppose to come to class, since in Korea they will change your schedule at the last minute and not say a fucking word to you about it.

Last semester I was sitting in my private office, watching a movie when I heard noises coming from my classroom. I investigated and found a class full of Students sitting quietly, waiting for class to start. My co-teacher had an appointment or something and had asked the VP to come to the class in her place, however she had not bothered to let me know about the schedule change, and the VP had not bothered to show up.

So after turning on all the video equipment, and letting the monitors warm up, I taught about 25 minutes of class before the students went on their merry little way. Did I care? Hell no, I get paid the same no matter what. Show up or don't, come early, come late, all I have to do is turn on a DVD and say repeat after me for 45 minutes 20 times a week. I really cant complain.

So it is now a quarter after 11:00 and my first class has yet to show up. Was it re-scheduled? Who knows. Will i teach my next two classes today? Your guess is as good as mine. Does it matter? Not really. Welcome to Korea muther fuckers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oh Korea


We just got back from an epic journey through China and Borneo, and the journey really made me appreciate some things about Korea.

1. (relatively) Clean water. In china and Borneo it is not safe to drink the water without boiling it first, and of course they serve ice in all the drinks, along with a hefty dose of the Asian version of Montezuma's revenge.

2. Public Transportation. Although the bus drivers in Korea are certifiably insane, the extensive network of bus and subway service (throughout the area around Seoul anyway) is convenient and reliable. And you dont feel like you need either a tetanus shot or shower after riding on the bus, for the most part.

3. Sunburns. Koreans are more phobic of direct sunshine than your average non-sparkly vampire...

gay

But they actually don't have that much to fear since the sun is usually being blocked out by the thick haze of pollution or near constant rain or overcastyness (not a word). Meanwhile the entire Awesomecool family was nearly burnt to a non sparkly crisp on the sunny beaches of Malaysia.



4.Paid Vacation. At all my jobs in America, when I took a vacation, it meant I was not getting paid until I went back to work. The whole time I was relaxing on a beach, or visiting pandas, or checking out temples, I was getting paid the same as if I was at school, watching movies, taking a nap or writing my blog. Not at all like in America, where you get paid for when you are actually doing your job, and expected to clock out for your 15 minute break.

So there are some good things about living over here, but sometimes you have to take a step back to really appreciate what you have.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

End of Camp

Yesterday was the last day of Summer camp. At most schools the NETs will have fun activities for the kids to do, games to play, movies to watch, arts and crafts and other bullshit to waste time with the illusion of teaching. Not at my school.

The Principal and Vice Principal here at asshole middle school think that the best way for students to spend their summer vacation is rote memorization of pointless dialogues. They think students "Need rearn diaroges for implove Englishee."

Last winter I spent two weeks planning fun activities and games that focused on improving the students conversation and listing abilities. Those were scrapped the week before camps began and replaced with 3 hours a day of dialogue practice and memorization. Never mind that none of them can speak or write in more than a three word sentence, and 90% of the time those sentences either begin with "Teacher" or "I'm". So I am not sure how memorization of the dialogue for making a hotel reservation is going to help them if they lack the ability to understand what the hell they are memorizing.

When the head of the Englishee dept asked me for plans for summer camp, I saw it coming. So I created simple pointless dialogues for the kids to "memorize" for the benefit of the Principal and Vice Principal, since if either of them showed up, it would only be for the first 15 minutes of class anyway. Then we would do fun activites for the next two hours. But then the VP decided that my dialogues were too short, and demanded twice as much as I prepared.

They wanted me to cut the fun activities and spend the whole three hours with memorization, practice, and drilling of the dialogues, which are simple but completely useless for the students to memorize. Even though I tried to dumb them down as much as possible they still had trouble with them.

Here is one of my dialogues:

Mike: What do you want to do tomorrow?
Sumin: I don’t know. How about a movie?
Mike: Yeah, that sounds like it will be fun.
Sumin: What do you want to do before the movie?
Mike: We could go out to eat.
Sumin: Yeah we should go get some hamburgers.
Mike: Ok, then let’s do that.
Sumin: Yeah lets!

I asked the students questions about it.

Me: Are Sumin and Mike going to eat before or after they watch the movie?
Student1: Hamburger?
Me: no.
Student2: Mike?
Me: Are Sumin and Mike....Going to eat.... Before or After... They watch the movie?
Student3: Hamburger?
Me: no. When are they going to eat? Are they going to eat BEFORE the movie, or are they going to eat AFTER the movie?
Student4: Hamburger?
Me: If the answer was not Hamburger the first two times...
Student 5: Mike?

The dialogues were pointless and boring and the VP loved it. But I did not want to spend 3 hours a day on it, so for all my classes I had the students read it out loud one time then move on to the next one. That way we would still have time to do fun activities that they might actually learn something from.

I asked my the head of the English dept. how the hell this was suppose to help the students with their English when they did not understand the dialogues at all. She told me "Students not understand diarogue, just repeat it untir dey understand." I guess that is why when you tell a Korean that you do not speak Korean they keep talking to you in Korean, they all think if you repeat something enough times the other person will just magically figure it out. I can guarrentee you however, if I have no fucking clue what you said the first time, i will have no fucking clue the next three times you say it, so save your breath.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two down and one to go

I finished my second group of first grade camp today, and now I have just three days left until complete deskwarming. Not that I am not deskwarming now, its just that I am currently only deskwarming 4 hours a day, instead of eight. That is including lunch of course.

We were recently chatting with a friend of ours who is working at a hagwon in our area, and we were comparing our jobs.

Our friend makes 2.3 million won without a TEFL compared to our 2.2 million with, which initially makes her job seem like the better deal. Until you find out that she has 29 hours of actual classroom teaching compared to our 22(I actually only teach 20). That is not counting the overtime that I get for teaching after school classes of course.

She also only gets 5 days of vacation time during her entire contract compared to our 5 weeks, not including several weeks of deskwarming during winter break, spring break, summer break and the random days of no class, for no apparent reason. She pretty much teaches the entire time.

One advantage she gets though, is when she finishes her last class of the day, she is free to go home. She does not have to be a white head in office just for the sake of appearance. I know most of us in the public schools would kill to not have to spend an 8 hour day on facebook. Although my crops do need watering.

She also gets less sick days, and has to actually do lesson plans, which neither of us do at all anymore. My wife in elementary never had to do lesson plans, but I use to do lesson plans, which is to say that I made one lesson plan when I first started and made slight modifications to it weekly. Then I got tired of that and began turning the same thing in week after week, but by April even that was too much work. So it has been three months since i turned in a single lesson plan.

She replaced someone who worked this job for one and half years before realizing they were getting screwed and left the country. I am surprised that she took the job in the first place. People complain about jobs drying up here with increased competition due to a shitty American economy, but you can do a hell of a lot better than that. A friend of mine is looking for a job closer to Seoul right now and has recently turned down 3 or 4 jobs with public schools that are far better than what she has.

She is incredibly unhappy with her job. She is so unhappy that she is actually pulling a midnight run later on this week. So if anyone is looking for a ahitty job, with shitty hours, I know a place that is hiring!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Building the glorious republic of Korea

There has been a construction site next to my school building something enormous, but until recently they were still digging the ground. Now they have three giant tower cranes, a foundation poured, and several double decker Cargo containers that you see all over Korea that have been converted into housing or offices.

Along with the new tower cranes and offices they have installed a massive sound system that blares music all day long. Thankfully its not K-pop, but since its still Korean music, its not much better.

What they play sounds like propaganda music, praising a glorious leader, and industrious nation that is rivaled by none. I myself have begun saluting all my co-teachers of the superior race and doing that ridiculous hop-march thing down the hallways.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Team names

I just started on my second group for summer camp, and I let the kids pick out team names for each of their groups. My only rule was that they had to be in English. After about 20 minutes of deliberation, I got the following names:

1. Team Mitty - I asked what the hell a Mitty was, and they said "Mitty Mouse!"
2. Team Hospital - I guess they do go there every time they get a runny nose or whatever.
3. Team Dream - 50% of Korean stores and products are named either "Dream" or "Story" something.
4. Team S - completely unimaginative. I docked points from their team.
5. Team Devil - They are the worst students of course.
6. Team Wonder Woman - Better than Wonder girls I guess.
7. Team Dong man- They drew a steaming pile of poop next to the name, so I think they meant dung, but to me dong is funnier.
8. Team Gay Bar - My personal favorite, I have no idea why this group of boys decided on this name, but they are a little more "touchier" in class than usual...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Potty time

As a general rule, I use the teacher's restroom exclusively at my school. However sometimes I have to take a piss and I don't want to take a half mile hike to the one clean restroom in the school, so I hop down the steps and brave the one halfway decent men's restroom.

By halfway decent I mean only a little bit of shit smeared across the walls, and just a few puddles of urine around the toilet and doorway. Not painted brown speckled with bits of paper chewed gum and the floor covered with a lake of urine like the others.

I don't know how it is at other schools, but the kids at my school are fucking animals. They even groom each other in the classroom picking through each others hair, looking for ticks like the monkeys on animal planet or something.

They run screaming through the halls, wrestling and smashing shit. They litter like its going out of style, they pretty much tear anything and everything off the walls that is not securely bolted down. They break absolutely everything they touch, and they touch absolutely everything.

When they are not destroying things, they are constantly fighting with each other, wrestling, slapping, punching, kicking and pinching. If they are not busy beating each other, they are grooming or...beating each other.

They have all learned my classroom motto:

"No touching!"

Not even the nice kind.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Languagee barrier

My wife and I went to a tiny hardware store in our town to buy some duct tape. Of course the people in the store did not speak English, but since I did not see any of the silver miracle tool lying about I asked "Tape?" Keeping things simple seems to help communication.

She had no idea what I was talking about. My wife who has been diligently studying Korean, busted out her much greater lexicon of the local language. "Tape-oo?"

The woman in the store resorted to the typical Korean method of trying to talk to us in Korean until we some how become magically fluent in their stupid language. Then I noticed behind the counter a roll of green duct tape, to which I pointed to immediately cutting short whatever epic poem or rant on the stupidity of foreigners she was spouting.

Ah! she said, "Tape-uh"

Of course. Tape-uh. Obviously the Korean word for tape is completely indistinguishable from the English word tape. How could she possibly know what the fuck we were talking about when we said Tape-oo? That is completely phonically different from Tape-uh. How could we possibly expect her to make the gigantic leap from tape or tape-oo to tape-uh. Ridiculous!



This was not the first time something like that happened either. One time when we first got here, we were trying to find the bus that went to "Home plus". So I asked the driver "Home plus?" to which I received a blank stare. Know I knew he should know what home plus was. There is a gigantic fucking sign over the building and it is clearly visible from the subway. There is no way a bus driver would not know about it. I said it slower. I enunciated. Still nothing but confusion. Then another passenger, one somewhat familiar with the English language chimed in.

"Home prus-oo"

"Ahh! Home prus-oo Nehye!" It turns out he did indeed know Home Prus-oo, but never heard of anything like Home plus. Even though there is no "oo" at the end of the "Plus" on the sign.

Really. Really Korea? How could a race of people be unable to make such a simple leap from tape to tape-uh? From home plus to home prus-oo? If a Korean came to the USA and asked me "Bus-uh?" or "Bus-oo?" or "Bus-ee?" sure two blocks take a right. I would be able to make the connection. "Warmart-oo?" sure, its over there. Is it a lack of imagination, or just a game of annoy the foreigner? Or what?

Give me fucking break, you boners.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fat fool

I had a class recently where the assignment was to ask your partners what their height, weight, shoe size, and hair length was. To demonstrate for the class, I posted my stats:

Height:180 cm
Weight:84 kg.
Shoe size:300
hair length:0

Now I expected the 0 hair length to give the class a chuckle, and the 180cm non-loser height to get general approval from the class, I did not expect the reaction from my weight. When I got to Korea I was a svelte 91.6 kg according to my health exam. I had another exam in April and the result was 84 kg. Recently and I am now down to 81kg. or 178lbs for Americans. I have had students and teachers telling me that I was "too thin" and that "We like the fat Mr.Awesomecool better".

Students and teachers alike are constantly about my diet and how much weight I have lost. Especially when I put on my new "Skinny" jeans since my other pants are now officially "Clown Clothes" as they are about 6 inches too big at the waist.

However after I posted my weight, the class laughed at my huge weight. I asked what was so funny, and one girl said that her father was 180 cm too (I doubt it), but her dad only weighed 68 kg. I told her that he must be a stick.

Since then some female students have started writing my weight and height stats on the blackboard when I am not paying attention or out of the class room with the message "Mr. Awesomecool is fat" under it. I can not believe how much their attitude towards me has changed since I posted that number. Its not as if I suddenly put the 10 kg. I lost back on, but now that they have a number, in their eyes I am a titanic lard ass. I am starting to get a six pack for fucks sake!

Before:

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February 2010

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February 2010
After:

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June 2010
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June 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

They want me sooo bad.

My school keeps asking me if I am going to renew my contract or not. They have been going to a lot of open classes lately, and have probably seen some of the mutants that the other schools hired as NETS.

I have ran into quite a few lately, and though most schools have been lucky enough to hire white males and females, they have definitely been scraping the bottom of the genetic cracker barrel for the ones they got.

I bumped into one waiting for the bus the other day, and the man looked old enough to be my grandfather. While I had more fingers on one hand than he had teeth in his mouth, I am fairly certain It was not mister wonderful (he did not look dazzling in a suit). The mans putrefied gob was absolutely hypnotic, it was like a train wreck of white mucous and decaying bacteria, that I could not stop staring at. I know that all Koreans think that us whiteskins are beautiful, with our long heads, and huge noses and kimchi+ sized dicks, I just could not imagine his classes telling him how handsome he was day after day, like I get with enthusiastic thumbs up and the Occasional "WOW" even though they have seen my ugly face every school day for the last nine months.

In the town where we live (not teach) there are two plus sized gals waddling around, both with faces that look like they fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. If my co-teachers have been to any of these schools lately, they might have figured out that even though I am no prize pig myself, they got pretty dang lucky.

I guess I should thank all the uglies out there, contributing to my job security. And to all the NETS hotter than me (not too many in this area) you are welcome.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Why dont koreans feed thier kids?

Maybe it is just my school, but all my students are always hungry. They constantly beg, whine and cry for food and candy, whether I have it or not. Every time they see me with food, if they can not say

"Teacher I hungry, please give!"

They open their mouths as wide as possible and motion emphatically for me to feed them like baby birds harassing a mother bird.

The clownish begging is one things, but some of my kids are so hungry that I have witnessed them eating the leavings of other students off the floor of my classroom. Its really embarrassing to see my students degrade themselves like that.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Slacking off

I just have not felt like blogging lately, I seem to have lost my mojo for it. I made a couple half hearted attempts to write some stuff, but it just came across as mean and boring, so I delted it.

Mostly I have just been bored these days, other than the usual drama from kids, things have just been slowly moving along. Maybe its because the wife and I are counting down our contracts, we have been really looking forward to moving back to Spain, but with the Euro taking a nosedive and Spain heading into the same economic tailspin that Greece had, we are re-thinking that decision a little bit.

Mostly though I have been looking forward to summer vacation. It has been a long stretch since winter vacation, and I could use a couple weeks off. Three to be exact. Since I finally got my Industrial area pay raise and extra week of vacation, that makes for a sweet summer break. We have our sights set right now on China and Borneo, but are open to other ideas. We originally wanted to go to Japan, but when we started shopping around for hotels and stuff, the crazy expensive prices over there soured us on the idea.

Its one thing to be on your own, and travel around Asia, but believe me, it is quite another to try to get accommodations and tickets for a party of five. Just think of how much your last trip anywhere cost and multiply it by five, then tell me how cheap it is to go to the Philippines or Vietnam, its not so cheap now is it?

It is starting to get real tempting to renew our contracts here, with all the problems in Europe right now, and the fact that not only do we get our completion bonuses if we renew, we also get an extra two weeks of paid vacation (seven total) and free round trip tickets (or the cash equivalent) home and an extra 100,000 won a month. That is a pretty sweet deal.

But is it worth it????

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer vacation

I finally have some good news. After months and months of asking for the same bonus pay and vacation time that my wife gets, and being repetidly being told yes and then a few days later no again, I finally got it. I am getting three weeks of vacation for summer, instead of two weeks and one week of so important desk warming. My co-teacher is ecstatic too, because that means she does not have to come to school and babysit me for that extra week.

I also got back pay for eight months deposited into my account, with that and my after school classes that I am once again the top bread winner for my household and as such I collected my ball sack back from my wife yesterday. I also get to be on top from now on, which is good for me because my back door will have a chance to heal.

Now comes the difficult part, figuring out where I am going to spend three glorious weeks this summer. Right now we have our eyes set on China and Borneo, but it all depends on our actual vacation times matching up, which did not happen last winter and we were unable to go anywhere.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The future

My wife and I got accepted to go teach English in Spain, which is far different from teaching Englishee in Korea. For one thing, far, far less money. Together we will be making a little more than one of our paychecks here. There is also no free apartment, so not only are we making half the cash, we have to pay rent too. But those are the only negatives, besides the impending meltdown of the Spanish Government turning the country into a apocalyptic hellscape straight out of mad max. Or at least according to Mr.Wonderful.



I agree, that Spain, is just steps away from being like Greece, but we wont be going for a while, so we are taking the wait and see approach. We are waiting to see if it is destroyed by an economic meltdown or covered in volcanic ash first.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Earthquake!

Today man schools are having fire and earthquake drills. The siren has been going off at my school for a good ten minutes and the only students outside are a PE class that was already out on the soccer field.

It does not really matter anyway, the fucking school will probably come down like a deck of cards if there ever was a reasonably strong earthquake. In the area I work in they have been building like crazy, or more accurately crazily building. Back in America when we built buildings, we had certain standards for safety that are not even close to following here.

For a large building to survive an Earthquake you need a good foundation, with several feet of hard compacted gravel for it to sit on, and large footings to keep the damn thing from tipping over in an earthquake. They just build these things straight on top of mud. There is no compacting, there is no ground prep, they just pour the concrete right on top of the bare earth. The footings are tiny, and would not be acceptable for a 2 story house in the states. Anyone who has ever played in mud knows that when you start to vibrate, or shake it, it liquefies. That is not a good thing to build straight on top of.

You also need strong, straight support columns, to hold up the floors above you, and large deep pilings to keep the building from shaking off the foundation. But then again that costs money. These things are going to snap like twigs if this building ever shakes and the six floors above me are going to come straight down on top of me. Standing in a doorway, or under my desk wont stop several hundred tons of concrete from crushing the life out of me. Consider this a 3X3X3 foot (roughly one meter) cube of concrete weighs around 4,800lbs or around 2400kg for the rest of the world. I can guarantee that unless you are on the top floor of your building, there is more than that above your head.

Not only that, my school is already showing stress cracks in all the hallways, and sloping in the classrooms. They fill in the cracks with caulk every once in a while, but they keep growing. I know that if my school ever gets hit with a big earthquake this thing is just going to crumble.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another term

We are starting a new term at my school, and starting it out right.

At my school we have mandatory material to be covered in every class, and it is dictated to us by means of a CD rom. There are certain units and certain chapters that must be covered by a certain time. At the beginning of the year the materials were ordered late, and we had to wing it until they arrived. Two weeks ago, knowing that we are about to start a new unit, I asked about it.

"Can I get the CD Rom for the new unit?" I asked the head teacher.

Blank stare.

"I don't have a CD ROM for units 4-7." I clarified.

"No one does." Was the reply. Then the head teacher began furiously digging through the stacks of paper on her desk. She had not ordered them yet.

I checked in again at the end of the week.

"The book store say they will deliver it this week."

"Oh good"

"But I don't believe them."

She was right not to believe them. They still have not delivered. I guess I am winging it again.

In other news, after our midterms, and my co-teacher asked me to look over some of the written answers.

"There is a dog and two trees in park A" Was marked as incorrect. I told the head teacher that this was in fact correct.

She said "No, it should say There are a dog and two trees in park A."

I said "No, that sounds fucked up." This is the way all their books and teaching materials say to do it. I believe that it is technically correct, but un-natural. Of course you would probably say "There are two trees and a dog in Park A" Which sounds more natural, but you could say it the other way as well. But the head teacher and all the co-teachers think that saying "There is a dog and two trees in Park A" Is incorrect. Then they wanted me to prove it was correct by showing them the grammar rules for it.

The only rule I could find was for neither or nor, where it states "The noun closest to the verb determines the verb" But they say that is only for neither or nor and does not apply to this situation, with fucking park A. I think it holds true in any situation, but I have no idea what that is called or how to prove it. So I am just going to forget about it. If they want proof, they can look it up themselves.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Breakfast in bed

Today my wife did something nice for me. In the thirteen years we have been married today was the first time she ever brought me breakfast in bed. I was very appreciative, yet very tired, I said "thank you", and because I was still tired and not feeling well (I just have been sick since friday) I set it down next to the bed and rolled over, planning on eating it later. After a while I decided to get up and have my breakfast my wife had thoughtfully brought for me.

Only the breakfast was gone. She had of course eaten it.

Thanks dear.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adventure!

Yesterday the wife and I had to go for our checkup. The head of the Englishee dept. took us to the hospital, after which she wanted to take us out to lunch. That would seem like a nice gesture to a normal person. However, my wife is not a "normal" person.

Not only is she is on a raw food diet right now, she is also a devout, militant, fundamentalist Vegan. She is the type of person who would strap c-4 to her chest and suicide bomb a McDonalds. The very thought of eating in a restaurant where the "juice of dog", or chicken is prepared sends her into a blind rage.

She wanted absolutely no part of eating any lunch besides the pureed raw turnip, garlic and yeast that she packed for her lunch, and smelled roughly like the bottom of a garbage can. So we made excuse, after excuse as to why we could not possibly go to lunch. The head of the English department did not want to go back to work and fought desperately to go out to eat.

"Its only 10am, and there will be nothing open."

"I tink, dat maybe your wife want go shopping until runchee?"

Unfortunately for her, not only is my wife nearly six feet tall, and therefore too large for either female or male Korean clothing, she also lacks the bargain hunting and fashion loving gene predominately found in females and gay men. Somehow, I posses the gene, I know its weird!

She suggested several more options for avoiding going back to work, but my wife was unrelenting. Eventually she out-koreaned my boss with her stubbornness and inability to take no for an answer born out her diet based fanaticism and was driven back to her school.

I however, do not posses my wife's unrelenting will, and also did not want to go back to work, so after she was driven back my boss suggested lunch one more time. I said OK, and figured if they did not have anything I would eat later.

The restaurant she took me to was a traditional place that served the "Juice of dog" and chicken in one building, and traditional tofu and noodle dishes in another. It also had incredible landscaping.







The served me a boiling hot bowl of one piece of tofu roughly the size of a babies head, and of course rice and side dishes. They were worried that it would be too spicey for me, but it only had a mild tang to it. It was pretty good, and the vegetable sides were good, but the kimchi smelled like low tide so I had no part of it.

Afterward it was time to go back, but my boss really did not want to, so she suggested going for a short walk. We ended up wandering around what looked like an abandoned shack, with giant woolly guard dogs on chains. It turned out to be a Buddhist temple that normally served tea, but was closed. My boss convinced them to let us in and look around and we checked out the shrine.





Then she convinced them to make us some tea while we sat on a heated mat watching Korean soap operas. When we finally left, it was about 1:30pm.

"Oh, it soo late!" My boss said in surprise. She had told the Vice Principal that we would be back by noon. So we rushed back to school, but when we got there, it was a ghost town. All the teachers had gone to lunch so no one even noticed we got back an hour and a half late.

After they all got back we went to the gym and played volleyball and basketball for about two hours. It was like the special Olympics in there. Not only was I not use to Korean rules volleyball (like a mixture of soccer and volleyball)I am old and mildly retarded at sports, luckily all the other teachers were too.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I miss variety

That is the one thing I really miss about America. There are a million stores selling a million brands of a million products. You could buy almost any type of fruit or vegetable year round, shop for clothing of any size and brand, or buy things online for incredibly cheap prices.

In Korea, not so much. Every town has the same cell phone stores, book stores, clock stores(they are really into clocks here)and bakeries and they are all selling the exact same products. You might find a little more variety at your e-mart or homepluses, but the bulk of what they sell is exactly the same as what everyone else is selling.

There are foreign markets in Seoul that sell some a lot of products that you cant get anywhere else, put the prices are high and the selection is limited.

There are places that sell foreign sized clothes, but the last pair of jeans I looked at were $150.00 and looked pretty shoddy. And forget about a good pair of running shoes. Unless you want a stylish pair of rocking elevator shoes.



Oh well, I least I can afford to buy shit over here. Back in the good old US all my money went to rent, food and heat.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New obsession

I was on facebook the other day when I saw this, my new obsession.



They are perhaps the cutest thing ever.

Lately my wife has been thinking about getting a dog here in Korea. She is getting to that stage in her life where her biological clock is more like a ticking time bomb. She wants a baby to love and cuddle and make little cooing noises at. She has been getting baby fever bad since her cousin dropped her third kid, and gets all starry-eyed every time she sees a cute little baby. When she sees an ugly little baby (we have all seen them, even if we don't want to admit it), she just gets angry at the parents for bringing something into this world which offends her eyes.

She cannot have a child (one of us is fixed), and mentally she does not want one plus, we already have two, and believe me, that is more than enough. But biologically she feels compelled to create one, or at least have a reasonable substitute.

So she decided to save a dog from becoming soup. She has been looking into adopting abandoned dogs, which have been rescued by animal rescue korea. She wants to do this even though she is allergic to almost anything with hair. Not to mention her number one most hated thing in the world is dog poop.

Whenever we go for walks and she sees anything that might resemble dog poop ( a melted candy bar or the like) she not only gives it a wide berth, but shouts out warnings to me and the kids to avoid the feared poop-like stain at all cost. If I venture to closely to a fecal stain on the ground, I do so under threat of physical violence.

I don't really want a dog, and all the hassle that comes with not only feeding, walking, picking up poop and not to mention the hassle of shipping it to wherever we are going to, when we leave Korea.

The kids really want a pet right now, and the wife wants a pet right now and I would like to have a pet, but just not yet. And when we do get a pet, I want a micro pig. I want to breed micro pigs and have dozens of little piglets running around looking so fucking cute. Look at theses things, how could you not want one!


OMG! So fucking cute!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Assault


Everyone who reads my wife and my blog knows that my wife hates on Korea, and I am a little more tolerant of people without long heads.

Yesterday I wrote a big, long, whining post about how living in Korea is a constant assault on all five senses, but I did not post it. Everything I was going to say has been said before. If not by my wife or I, then by one of the other dozen living in Korea Blogs. So I deleted it.

I wrote about our bus ride to work, passing fields and streams choked with trash. People speaking in their hacking goblinish language. The foul smells from the bus passengers, and countryside. The terrible K pop blaring over the bus's loud speaker. The pollution, boring shoddy architecture, limited food options (anyone ever hear of spices besides red pepper and fish sauce?), pointless nationalism etc. etc. etc.

But what is the point? It has all been said before.

I spent the better part of yesterday morning writing it, instead of doing lesson plans, working on my after school class or really doing anything that resembles work. Then I just said fuck it. I am not putting out another whiny, complaining blog.

I have an easy job, I am saving lots of money, and I cant complain about that. Sure I put up with everyday BS and live in a disgusting country, but so what? Its only temporary, someday I wont be here. I will leave Korea for one of the dozens of other countries that are worth living in, and exploring.

I don't care about Korea anymore. I am here to save money and that's it. Everything else is inconsequential.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Teaching Englishee in Korea! Phiting!

My school is ponying up 80,000 won for me to take a "Teaching Englishee in Korea" class. I will take the classes through the method of "Internet based lecture though" .

It will be taught by a guy who was "English teacher for global company such as Korean Air, Doosan Infracore, COTI and etc."

I will be learning lessons such as:

"Comparing, Korea VS. foreign country" I expect to learn that Korea, of course is best and sparkling.

"Understanding Korean School" I have to admit, I do not understand Korean school, be it one school or many school...

And last but not least "What is 'TEACHER' in Korea" yes, what is TEACHER? Does the Korean hive mindset mean there is but one singular teacher? Are we all one great entity working together? This must be the philosophy aspect of the course.

I have to hand it to the guy though, horrendous spelling and grammar mistakes aside, he is conning my school out of 80 bucks, which at least shows some balls.

Does anyone else have to take theses bullshit classes?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Going to the doctor

If a Korean so much as skins their knee, they go to the doctor. If they have a runny nose, quick to the doctor. They expect you to do the same as well.

"You da seek."

"Yeah, I am a little under the weather."

"What did da doctor say?"

"I did not go to the doctor."

Stunned silence...

In America, we know that there is not much a doctor can do for you, if you have the flu, or a cold, or bruised your knee on a coffee table. Except of course bury you in soul crushing debt for the rest of your life.

I have been sick for almost a week now. I have, as my wife puts it "Man Flu" which means that I am sick, and not paying as much attention to her, therefore I am being annoying on purpose. I have not been to a doctor yet, because A: there is no cure for a cold or flu. B: Korean doctors are about as capable as a blind one armed juggler. and #3: Its not AIDS, cancer, or a broken arm, which are things that doctors (probably not korean doctors) can actually help you with.

The head of the Englishee dept. is intensely concerned. She is insisting on taking me to a doctor tomorrow. I will probably be pretty much better tomorrow so I told her sure, just to get her off my back. Plus I might get to skip a class or two, which will make the whole thing worth it.

Hopefully now she will stop asking me if I have diarrhea every 15 minutes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Man Flu

I am back at work today, after spending two days at home with the man-flu. The wife was getting pretty annoyed about me staying home focusing on getting better, because it gave me less focus on her.

I still feel pretty sick, and sitting in my giant un-heated office with huge, drafty aluminum framed windows I am not getting any better. I could go to the heated teacher's office, but then I would have to talk to my co-teachers, and they would want to give me "juice of dog soup with kimchi" to help me get better, so thats out.

Its not that there is not a heating system in my office, its just that they refuse to turn it on. I thought my skipping out on two days of work this week might change that, but obviously I was wrong.

One of the reasons I came back to work today, instead of spending another day killing deathclaws and giant molerats, is that yesterday I received an e-mail that I might be getting an extra week of vacation time and a raise.

If you don't remember, my wife got a pay raise with a couple months back pay, and an extra week of vacation because she is working in an industrial area, about 3 blocks from my school. When I asked my school if I could get some of that they said "no, fuck you."

So I asked the district coordinator and she said "No, fuck you, and fuck your wife. I am going to report you to the administration, and make her return that back pay."

My wife, however did not have to pay it back, and she still has her extra vacation, and now it looks like I do too. So hopefully I will be getting some back pay, which on top of my 8 hours a week of overtime, will make a nice fat paycheck.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sick day


After six months of being exposed to no hand washing, open mouth coughing, disease spreading, Korean children who at least 30% of whom are "seek" at any given time, my immune system finally gave up. I guess I have not been eating enough kimchi...

Now it is my turn to say "I seek teacher! Need to sreep in crass." Except I aint going to class, I am using one of my 14 sick days to stay at home and get paid.

Back in the good ole US of A, if I was too sick to drag my sorry ass into work, that was 8 hours of money that I would not earn. As a carpenter, I made over $20.00 an hour, so a sick day meant at least $160.00 would be missing out of the next pay check, more if we were working overtime that day. And if I was so sick, that I needed to go to a doctor? That would have to come out of the next pay check.

There are a lot of things that suck of Korea, but at least I can take a day off every once in a while and not have to worry about how I am going to pay the bills.