Sunday, October 29, 2006


The Road Less Travelled by Linda Paul -

You know when you're famous, you can say stuff that others say and think, but when you say it people will sit up and notice. It's an interesting result of fame.

Case in point, the latest post on my boy's blog. Granted, the scene is quite dramatic, and, considering the current horrible news, it's bad timing. I've never needed such a violent jolt to get on this topic, but clearly some people do.
Here's the question: what do you change? Whom do you call that you haven't spoken to in years? Whom do you realize has been toxic to your heart and drop with surprising ease? What trips do you cancel, and what trips do you book? What can't you be bothered with anymore? What's the new you like?

Think about that, and then ask one more question. Why not just change it all right now?

(Working on it...)
I live my life like that, which is probably why my life is so massively different from a lot of folks I know. That's not to say it's better, just different. I've made different choices because I know I've been looking at the world from a different perspective.

I remember my mother telling me stories about all of the things she wanted to do, but she never got around to them or never made them explicit goals. I remember her telling me to focus on my education and my goals before settling down, but also instilling in me an appreciation for family. I think I learned that lesson a bit too well as I still break into a cold sweat at the thought of marriage yet, ironically, I still desire it on some level too. Her not reaching for her dreams made a deep impression on me, so much so that I've probably spent a bit too much time focused on goals and not enough on family.

I also remember her forthrightness, and her ability to be candid no matter what. Unlike most people, she knew that even if the truth sometimes hurts, it's even more hurtful to be deceitful. That makes me someone who bristles at deception even when it's done with the best of intentions. I'd rather get the sting from a thwack of honesty than to get it by figuring out out weeks or months down the line that someone lied to preserve my feelings or ego. That candor worked in a positive way too because it made her someone who reached out and hugged me and father for no good reason but that she loved us. Of course, that's the best reason of all.

But with my boy posting that, maybe more will start to see that life is so precious and so short. Maybe some lives will change for the better and more people will make a difference in this world. Maybe the world will be a better place because of it. At a minimum, even if world peace doesn't occur and global warming isn't reversed, maybe some lives will be made better because of it.

Thanks for the reinforcement my celebrity friend.


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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wanna Freak Out the Wagukin (외국인)?

Me a long, long time ago.

I was at the store today and told the lady that I had a craving for the high-fat, processed, canned food product that I was buying. Anyway, she said "아기?" or "baby?"

I thought that was code and she was asking me if I was pregnant.

Now I'm a huge commitmentphobe. That's not because of divorce or something tramatic, actually because of a fear of a divorce-induced weltschmerz because my parents had the PERFECT marriage 'till death did they part. (Yes, I know I'm deluding myself here and it certainly wasn't perfect, but Ozzie and Harriet-esqe it was and a phobia is a phobia.)

Anyway, I nearly had a heart attack, but explained that no, I wasn't pregnant. That was accompanied by flashes of matrimony, labor, stretch marks, post-partum depression, spit-up, and what will be a much needed breast lift.

She explained that her grandson likes the product that I was buying, so that's what she was trying to tell me. The cold sweat and steep rise in my blood pressure was all for naught.

It's just another silly moment while living abroad.


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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dave Chappelle: Two Funny Clips

I'm up late finishing up a midterm paper. I decided to take a break, so I wandered over to YouTube to find Dave Chappelle's "Black Bush" skit because my paper deals with Bush and the Iraq War. Anytime I watch it, I just fall out laughing because it's so funny.
dave chappelle

The power's that be have deleted this video, but I'll keep it here as a marker. I might just find it somewhere else and repost it.
I then doubled back for more Chappelle laughs for break number two. This one is a game show called "I Know Black People."
Chappelle Show: I Know Black People



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Saturday, October 14, 2006

UN Security Council Sanctions North Korea

Nothing much to say on this except that it feels like the same old tepid response from the UN which will not change the situation. As it takes all of the permanent members (P5) to approve a resolution, at least the fact that both China and Russia signed on to it shows some unity among the P5. China and Russia are the closest allies North Korea has right now, but even they can't (or won't) lay the requisite pressure on North Korea to change course on its increasingly dangerous provocations.

The text is linked here. The title is "Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea" and it's document number "S/RES/1718 (2006)."

Here is a link to the UN webcast archives, so you can see what the various diplomats had to say about the situation: 2006 Archived Webcasts of Security Council Meetings



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Chad Vader - Episode 4

Okay, the fourth Chad Vader episode is out.

Okay, I'm totally underwhelmed because the first episode is the funniest.

Okay, I'm posting it simply because I should be consistent and put the whole series up.

Okay, it is.

Here is a post with links to the first three episodes so you can see how the story has progressed so far.


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Friday, October 13, 2006

South Korean Ban Ki-moon is the Next UN Secretary General!

Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary-General shakes hand with Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Minister of South Korea at the U.N. headquarters in New York, Wednesday, October 11, 2006. (photo and caption shamelessly lifted from the

Nothing much needs to be said except for congratulations to Ban Ki-moon and South Korea on Mr. Ban's appointment as the next Secretary General of the United Nations!

I remember discussing this in class last year. Then the general opinion was even though South Korea would put forth a strong candidate that because of international politics the candidate wouldn't have a chance.

My how things change in a few months! All of his opponents eventually dropped out of the race and he was unopposed. It's just great!

Here is a news article from the WashingtonPost talking about his appointment.

South Korean Approved as U.N. Secretary General

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 13 -- The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon on Friday as the next U.N. secretary general.

The Security Council's choice of Ban, 62, to succeed Kofi Annan was ratified by acclamation at the General Assembly, consisting of all 192 U.N. member governments.

Hundreds of diplomats and U.N. staffers broke into loud applause when the General Assembly president, Sheikha Haya Rashed al-Khalifa of Bahrain, asked the assembly to adopt the resolution by acclamation. She then banged the gavel and said, "It is so decided."

Ban will become the eighth secretary general in the United Nations' 60-year history on Jan. 1, when Annan's second five-year term expires. The last Asian to run the world body was U Thant of Burma, who held the post from 1961 to 1971.

"It has been a long journey from my youth in war-torn and destitute Korea to this rostrum and these awesome responsibilities," Ban said in accepting the post, in both English and French.

"I could make the journey because the U.N. was with my people in our darkest days," he said. "It gave us hope and sustenance, security and dignity. It showed us a better way. So I feel at home today."

Ban will oversee an organization with 92,000 peacekeepers around the world and a $5 billion annual budget. The United Nations' reputation has been tarnished by corruption scandals, and its outdated practices need reform to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Annan hailed Ban as "exceptionally attuned to the sensitivities of countries and constituencies in every continent."

The choice of Ban for the top job coincides with increased U.N. involvement in the effort to thwart North Korea's nuclear weapon development program. Ban has said that he would like to help mediate the dispute with the communist government in North Korea.


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Thursday, October 12, 2006 - I look like who?!

I swear I'm not writing this because John Mayer wrote about this a few days ago. Honestly, I had no idea because I've been simultaneously swamped with both work and school.

I only just discovered he wrote about it too a day or so ago when I went to his MySpace page. I think what's happening is a lot of MySpace users are converging on the site and uploading their pictures to discover what claims are their so-called celebrity look alikes. That, in turn, is driving other MySpace users to the cite.

Hence, why he's blogging about it as well as others at virtually the same time.

Okay, with that out of the way, I went a few days ago and ran picture after picture as I've managed to collect quite a few in my time. Plus, playing with that site is much more productive than say studying or working on school projects...not.

Here are three of my look alike collages:

My take on this is it's more about your pose and your facial expression. Maybe it has something to do with the relative distances of your facial features as certain celebs have come up a few times over. However, it's pretty clear that similar poses and big grins will pull up photos where the celeb is doing the same. I tend to smile broadly in photos.

Mayer's blog post, however, does come in handy for this observation. If you check out his blog, you can see that he's not a big smiler (at least not in the picture he used on and got matched with two photos that had similar, more serious, less smiley shots. has matched me thrice both Keira Knightley and Jamie Lynn Spears...hahahahahaha. Come on, I bear no resemblance whatsoever to either one, but randomness like that is what makes it funny.

I think the closest matches are Xzibit, that guy could be my brother, and Sarah Vaughan.

Try it out for yourself as it's, sometimes ridiculous, but fun.


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Friday, October 6, 2006

North Korea's Nukes and Ban Ki-moon

A South Korean military police walks past a signboard showing the distance to the North Korean capital Pyongyang from Imjingang Station, of the incomplete inter-Korea railway, near the demilitarized zone which separates the two Koreas, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul, October 6, 2006. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (photo and caption taken from

You know, when I heard about North Korea announcing to the world that it was planning a nuclear test, I just rolled my eyes in frustration.

Yes, it's serious, but the thing is North Korea is tiresome and invokes the same tired tactics all the time. The nation is like those annoying kids who pitch a fit when they don't get their way. The problem is unlike the kids who don't get their way, North Korea has weapons and technology to trade in for cash to get even more dangerous weapons and technology. Also, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that they're stupid in North Korea. North Korean specialists on the US know much more about the States and its society than vice versa. The problem also they know the world basically rolls its eyes when they make noise so they have to up the ante with each move which inevitably makes them more dangerous with each provocation.

Now that South Korea has Ban Ki-moon running unopposed for the postion of the next UN Secretary General, North Korea is making noise. Now this probably isn't just to thwart Ban at the UN, but I'm sure it plays a part. Whenever South Korea is doing well or is making positive strikes the North makes noise to take from their achievement it seems. The good thing is it doesn't matter at this point. If you didn't know, both North and South Korea joined the UN in September of 1991.

During that time South Korea has made impressive strives with its economy and democracy. In contrast, North Korea has managed to isolate itself even more than before with even its traditional allies of Russia and China slapping its wrists for its political miscalculations.

The problem is here in South Korea there is a generational divide and a lot of South Koreans aren't given and don't seek out the full story. South Koreans forget this, but the North tried to take away South Korea's glory during the 2002 World Cup. Good for me, David Scofield remembered when he wrote N Korea's military edge over S Korea:

In the closing days of the World Cup competition in 2002, a North Korean naval vessel attacked and sank a South Korean navy ship inside South Korean territorial waters. Two years later, not one politician from either the ruling or opposition camps attended the memorial for the six South Korean sailors who perished, and most of the nation's media outlets relegated the story to the back pages, if they covered it at all.
The irony is up to recently every South Korean I spoke to remembered the accident where two South Korean teenage girls were killed by a US Army tank during the same month. But when I remind or inform them that during the same period North Korea intentionally fired on a South Korean ship and killed South Korean sailors, all I get is silence.

South Korea is also back pedaling on its desire to have the US Army reduce its presence here.

So will North Korea conduct a nuclear test in spite of the UN's warning not to do so? Probably.

The problem is it's the same old guff but the stakes are escalating. North Korea has no problem with taking things to a crisis point because they have in the past. The question is if, how, and when will it stop. Let's hope that Ban can conduct another Korean miracle if he is successful in becoming the highest ranking diplomat in the world.

Here is a timeline from FACTBOX-N.Korea's nuclear gestures - it's all in the timing

(Reuters) - North Korea's announcement of its plan to carry out a nuclear test coincided with a symbolic anniversary, just as previous bold statements were timed to capture maximum attention.

Here is an overview of similar tactics by Pyongyang in the past:

- Oct 3, 2006 - Pyongyang says it will conduct a nuclear test but gives no date. The announcement comes on Foundation Day, the anniversary of the day in 2,333 B.C. that the mythical Tangun founded Korea, and while China is on a Golden Week holiday.

- July 5, 2006 - North Korea launches seven missiles early in the morning, with the launch coinciding with the U.S. Independence Day holiday.

- Feb 10, 2005 - North Korea declares it has nuclear weapons for the first time. The announcement comes as South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon is in the air on a trip to Washington to meet U.S. officials, and as much of Asia is celebrating the Lunar New Year's holidays.

- Feb 25, 2003: North Korea test fires a short-range cruise missile. The test comes hours before the inauguration of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and other international guests in Seoul for the event. Powell says the test is "fairly innocuous" but the White House calls it diplomatic extortion, aimed at forcing a compromise in the stand-off over Pyongyang's suspected nuclear program.

- August 31, 1998 - North Korea test fires its Taepodong-1 missile, its first test in five years and fourth since 1984. The test comes as the United States and North Korea are 10 days into sporadic talks in New York about the North's nuclear program, and ahead a September congress that confirms leader Kim Jong-il as holding the highest office of state.

- November 1987 - North Korean agents blow up a Korean Air passenger jet, killing 115 people, in what South Korea says is an attempt to disrupt Seoul's hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Sources: Reuters, Global Security


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"God's just a Baby and her Diaper's Wet"

I got to read this on a forum that I go to sometimes. It's from Saul Williams and it was sent out as a bulletin to people who are his friends.

In spite of the dire need for paragraph breaks, it touched me because it's how I feel about so many things concerning the country that has given me so much. How is it that the citizens of the US can be so powerful as a group, yet feel that we can't make a difference as individuals? Why is it that I've been abroad for over half a decade, yet so many I know claim it's such a hard thing to do when it's as easy as shifting priorities, getting passport and using it?

With that said, here it is with certain parts emphasized.


"God's just a Baby and her Diaper's Wet"

Some people have asked me to explain what I mean by that statement. Here it goes: We need to change how we think of God. We need to change how we think of ourselves. To live in the richest most powerful nation in the world that boasts of democracy and freedom and yet so many of us feel like our voice doesn't count, won't make a difference, won’t be heard, makes me question what true democracy/enlightenment would feel like. On one hand, many of us DO feel like it is within our power to become rich or successful (which is why so many people move here, right?) But why don't we feel like we can stop our country from becoming the hypocritical terror-mirror, torch of torture, murderous empire that it has become? We can make cash but we can’t make change? cow dung. All of us.We are so caught up in our own selfish materialistic pursuits and celebrity endorsed comfort that we fashion our lives and our idea of God to suit our own lack of merit. Why would God bless America before HE (ha) would bless IRAQ or the SUDAN? Is it because we are the chosen? Does God prefer us? So can we only think of a God that is as prejudice as we are? **** that! It is 2006 and Native Americans STILL live on reservations, poor people STILL struggle for decent housing and education, Palestinians STILL live in refugee camps, on their own ***** land. Does our God not care about them? Or is it truly that WE don’t care about them and don’t have the time to fashion a God that does? We are Godless hypocrites on the threshold of damnation. No, not hell, simply America and the lands of our chosen allies. Will we sit back and let our leaders pass Patriot Acts and torture bills in a fancy language that dresses up murder, thievery and torture in some high-gloss attire forcing the innocent down planks and runways at gunpoint while our children fight to audition to be America’s next Top Model? Why do we question our own intelligence and ability to share our opinion on serious matters more than we question our so-called leadership? Why do we continue to follow in the footsteps of CEO’s that incorporate cow dung and sell it back to us as hot topic? Why do we endorse religions and religious leaders that we have quite simply outgrown? Not even Jesus was Christian. His message was of spirit. He broke his religious law daily insisting that those were the laws of man. Why do we feel that certain things need not be questioned just because we were born into them? What about people that were born into slavery? How did they find the courage to question their reality? Did they heed naysayers? Didn’t they also feel like their voice didn’t count, let alone, their entire being? Where did they find the courage to question the empire that enforced torture and terror on them? They found it within themselves. I’m not impressed with CEO’s, record execs, fashion lines, fascist leaders, and the yes men that support them in hopes of tasting so-called power. I am impressed with a creative compassionate awareness that enables as it enlightens. I’m impressed with music that heals and inspires. I’m impressed with humanity and the individuals that seek to explore it rather than control or convert it. Only 14% of Americans own passports. We are mostly self-consumed while our government and our own lack of outward concern seeks to exploit the resources of people and lands we seldom visit. Lebanon is beautiful. Iraq and Iran are wondrous. Afghanistan is magical. Palestine is sacred. And America is lost, asleep, drugged, brainwashed, scary. What’s great about our country is that it’s like a Rubik’s Cube; we can change its ****** face. And it’s always the youngest that are the first to figure it out. Me? I got tired of the puzzle and realized that I could pull the pieces off and reassemble it in its proper order. Shortcuts ain’t always cheatin’. Sometimes the world can’t wait.

We can’t wait for Jesus to come back and incite the change that we are afraid to fight for and become. Fact is, Jesus may have already come back in the same Arab body that he came in the first time and is now being held without trial by our own God-fearing government along with the 14,000 other “terror suspects” that we are holding in American war camps with hope of passing new bills to torture Our Saving Grace. We are a young nation with an antiquated idea of godliness. The God of guns enforced slavery and terror. I will not pray to him. Will you?

I look into the eyes of a newborn and see an innocence that I find hard to remember. I hold her close to my face so I can smell what water has not washed away. I sing my song into her ear and thank her for her being. She has come to remind me of the reasons why I sing. But before I lose myself in the soft purr of her cuddle she wriggles to remind me of her discomfort and the fact that she cannot fend alone. She must be changed. I must change her. We must change things. Time for change. Boycott stupidity. Here’s a super short list of some people that have been successful at it (if you have school reports or term papers coming up, might I suggest):

Paul Robeson
Assata Shakur
Alice Walker
Audre Lourde
John Brown
Toussaint l’Overture
Mahmoud Darwish
Chief Seattle
Amiri Baraka
Sojourner Truth
Steve Biko
James Baldwin
Nina Simone
Anais Nin
Angela Davis
Arundhati Roy
Ben Okri
Julia Butterfly Hill
Noam Chomsky
Nikolai Tesla
Mahatma Ghandi
Carlos Castaneda
Ken Wilber
Ann Frank
Pete Seger
Mother Theresa
Cesar Chavez
Terrence McKenna
Erica Jong
Amy Goodman

and on and on….




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A Short Hiatus

Photo: clocks (shamelessly lifted from

I’ve been in a state of writing paralysis because I have tons of projects coming up for school. I’ve refused to write anything for this blog until I did some work; the irony is that paralyzed me completely.

So now I’m taking another route. I’m going to write and hope that it loosens me up enough that I can get over this block and actually get some work done.

If not, there will definitely be an entry about how I failed all my courses this term, lost my scholarship and dropped out of the program.

In the hopes that I don’t fold in on myself, here we go. Let the writing begin!


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