Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Okay, this really isn't the 80s 'cause this song came out in the late 70s, BUT this is the Live Aid performance. Live Aid was in 1985.
Just What I Needed @ Live Aid (sung by a very hot lookin' Ben Orr - RIP):
Touch and Go:
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Oh, I'm so pissed. I found the Eric B. & Rakim videos put up on YouTube by Universal Music. However, Universal Music and a lot of other record companies don't allow the videos to be embedded on other websites.
That's stupid to me because it's a free commerical, so screw them. However, I'll make an exception in this case as I LOVE Eric B. & Rakim. THIS is great rap.
Don't Sweat the Technique:
I Know You Got Soul:
Here is the search link on YouTube. That way you can enjoy more of their videos. However, you control freaks at Universal Music suck, big time.
This is an interesting article from the Chosun Ilbo. It talks about the problems foreigners have living here in Korea.
Korea -- A Desert Island in the Globalized World?
"Is Korea still an isolated country? Many have been calling for a "global Korea" over the last decade, stressing that globalization is the only way for survival. The number of foreigners living in the country exceeded the 1 million mark last year, but many of them say Korea lags far behind Singapore or Japan. There is plenty of inconvenience in their everyday life here, from basic communication and asking for directions to applying for credit cards and using the Internet. They also say Koreans still have little regard for the feeling of foreigners.
John (25), a Canadian English teacher in Seoul, has a problem with, of all things, his mobile phone. Despite plenty of battery power, his mobile phone goes dead a lot because he is on a pre-paid plan. In Korea, it is difficult for foreigners to subscribe to normal, post-paid plans, apparently because service providers fear they could scram without paying their bills.
Michael (42), an American who has taught English at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for three years, has a similar problem. Last year, he went to an airline office to buy a flight ticket for the Christmas holidays carrying W3.5 million (US$1=W936) in his backpack -- and with Korea’s small-denomination banknotes that’s a lot of paper -- because he could not get a credit card. "I tried to apply to two banks for a credit card. But the only reply I got from their clerks was, 'No, sorry.' They neither attempted to explain to me why they were not issuing a credit card nor gave me any brochures in English."
Foreigners in Korea complain that it is very difficult to get ID numbers to use in the basic service sectors, including financing, the Internet, and communications. Most foreigners carry alien registration cards and numbers provided by the Korean government. But they are no use in everyday life, which makes it much more difficult to book train tickets, buy movie tickets in advance, or make online payments.
Korean websites use strict criteria for foreigners who wish to subscribe to their services -- and there are no set standards either. It is possible for foreigners registered with the Immigration Office of the Justice Ministry to apply for services on portal sites such as Naver and Empas with their ID numbers. But they are required to send copies of their alien registration cards by fax if they want to use services on CyWorld or CGV. And errors frequently occur even on Naver during the subscription process.
Banking is another headache. Even if a bank decides to issue credit cards to foreigners, services differ greatly depending, it seems, on the individual clerks who deal with them. One clerk at a call center of Kookmin Bank, the country's largest bank, said, "If you carry a professor's visa but don't have a third guarantor, you have to give proof of a salary of over W50 million a year." But another clerk said, "If you carry a professor's visa, you don't need proof of income."
What is the situation in other Asian countries like Japan and Hong Kong? In Japan, foreigners can immediately subscribe to mobile phone services and medical insurance if they carry an alien registration card. They are not discriminated against in terms and conditions or benefits from such services. Most portal sites in Japan like “livedoor.com”, the most popular site among Japanese netizens, only require foreigners to present basic information such as names and addresses, without asking for ID numbers.
In Hong Kong, foreigners also have little trouble subscribing to mobile phone and credit card services, even if they don't have third guarantors or make security deposits. Major banks in Hong Kong, such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Heng Sheng Bank, allow foreigners to apply for credit cards three months after they open accounts -- on the same terms and conditions as local residents. Foreigners can also apply for housing loans after verifying their credit status, including income, just like local residents.
In Singapore, foreigners with employment passes, are not discriminated against in applying for mobile phone or credit card services. If they have employment passes and bank accounts, they can apply for bank loans. Ryan (32), a Canadian English teacher who arrived in Korea two years ago after living in Japan for three years, said, "Foreigners experience more inconvenience in Korea than in Japan because Korea has no universal standards. It seems Korea hasn’t even set its own standards yet, let alone using global standards.""
It's pretty much true. Now I got lucky very early on and I have a cell phone account in my name with LG Telecom. That was only because a friend of mine lucked upon a shop that only required your alien registration card and proof that you were a professor rather than an English teacher at a hagwon. He was tenacious and just kept going to shop after shop until he found a shop that would issue him a cell phone account. Therefore, I benefited when he told me about it, and I went up to the city where he was teaching to get my own account.
It's great because I've never had to be dependent on a Korean for a cell phone account or had to do the irritating calling card thing. I think the reasoning behind it might be right that someone employed at a college or university as a professor isn't going to skip the country. However, if I'm an honest hagwon teacher, I think it sucks that I have to suffer for the actions of foreigners who skip the country because those foreigners are almost always reacting to unscrupulous employment practices. It's frequent that teachers deal with dilemmas like not being paid or having the employer simply make rules up as they go along rather than obeying the contract terms. In that situation, I think call it a day here too.
I know that the Korean Rail system had a GREAT reservation system in place that worked in both English and Korean. I had a reservation card. I used it all the time. If the English page was down, my Korean is good enough that I could hop on the Korean site and make a reservation there. I accumulated points, and eventually got free train tickets now and then. But then someone decided to change it and the current system they have is not foreigner friendly. They completely skipped having an English, Chinese and Japanese option. I can use it, but it's not worth stumbling through as I live in Seoul and rarely leave the city these days. I just don't take the train now. However, should I have to, now it's back to going to the train station to get a ticket and then doubling back to get on my train or waiting around in the train station to catch my train. That sucks.
It's also true that we can't register for Korean websites with the ID numbers we have. Okay, technically, you can. But you have to submit all sorts of information to get access and I'm not going to bother with that. I'll just stick with Google, thank you very much. It's irritating. I have a friend who says it's going to change and under President-elect Lee, it just might, but for now it takes a lot of effort for a foreigner to get a Cyworld account, so screw it. I know part of it is because of the legal rules here. You can't say something bad about a person in Korea even if it's true. So if you have a real name system where your account is tied to your government issued ID, you're easy to find. It cuts the anonymous posting of stuff online right out.
I have an LG Telecom account, but I can't register on their website with my government issued number because the system doesn't recognize the ID number format foreigners get. That was irritating when I made a reservation for a US mobile phone for my upcoming trip. The representative told me I'd get 50% off the daily rental rate if I reserved online. This is going to be a three week trip, so 50% off adds up. I told her that, as a foreigner, I can't even register on the website. However, living here for awhile has taught me that objecting initially usually gets you nowhere in a situation like this. Instead, I tried to do the online reservation just to say I tried it, 'cause I knew I was going to call back. Of course, it didn't work. I called back later in the week and the representative just gave me the discount. But really, it would be nice just to hop online and do it.
Also, it's true about credit cards. The rules change depending on who you're dealing with. I've had two Korean credit cards before, but I cancelled both as it was just too much of a pain to deal with. My American issued cards work here just fine. However, now I have a Korean credit card from Samsung. They're great. Now they have a support line specifically for foreigners who have Samsung cards.
The general belief is you'll never get a Korean issued credit card or, if you do, you had to sacrifice your first-born to get it ;-) What's funny is the Samsung representative chased me down to issue me one. I think that was because she is on commission as I think she chased down all the foreign professors at my job. I kept avoiding her because I didn't want another Korean credit card. But she found me, I signed up and it has made my life easier. I'd had a Samsung card a few years ago and that experience was a nightmare. Since settling that first Samsung card account, however, it seems they made a lot of positive changes.
It will be particularly good when I go on vacation. This is because due to bank scams run by Korean-speaking Chinese-Koreans, the banking system here stopped issuing international ATM cards. So you can be abroad and it can be your payday but good luck trying to withdraw money. However, that doesn't apply to my credit card it seems. So, in theory, should I need it I can draw funds from my bank account in an indirect manner. Before you say "you can't do that", well, you might be right, but I did withdraw money using that card on a US military base via a Bank of America ATM recently. I never use my US ATM card and simply forgot the passcode...ooops. In that way, the Samsung card saved me 'cause I needed US dollars immediately. It's a way around another stupid rule which penalizes all foreigners for the acts of a select few.
That's the crux of the problem in Korea - simplistic and one dimensional thinking. It's probably because Korea is a society that is homogenious, everyone is the same, one size fits all solutions do solve or, at least, mask the problem, and systems like that ARE easier to manage. But it leads to bad decisions when you're dealing with a diverse foreign population. If there is a bank scam by foreigners, all foreigners suffer. If an English teacher who works in Korea is revealed to go to SE Asia on sex holidays to pursue underage boys, then the visa laws change to penalize all English teachers. There are tons more examples, but it's still very much the case that many everyday things here just don't compete with other countries. There are frequent, over-the-top, reactions when stories like this happen. There is also the problem of someone just making it up as they go along. I've had a few times where I went somewhere to sign up for a point card at a store and have the clerk say I couldn't because I was a foreigner. Um, not true and then I whip out my Happy Point card, my LG Telecom card, my OK Cashback card, etc. (These are cards that either offer you discounts, upgrades or point accumulations for free stuff later on. They're really great as the Happy Point card has gotten me free cups of coffee I don't know how many times at this point.)
Anyway, there is no training or sensitivity when dealing with foreigners in those situations, so you have to switch to stubborn to get what you want. And, no I'm not lonely and I don't want to date or marry a Korean to get these basic things.
It's getting better, slowly. I think it might improve exponentially when the former mayor of Seoul, President-elect Lee takes office as he's very pro-investment and seems to know that making things easier for the foreigners makes business easier to do.
I've found my way around a lot of these problems. I've got my LG Telecom cell phone account, I've got my Korean credit card, I can make an appointment for immigration in a flash and blow in and out of that office in an hour or less. However, that's not the case for most foreigners and, until it is, Korea is going to rank lower in terms of livability in comparison to other Asian countries.
I interviewed someone today who has a very upbeat outlook on the possiblity of this changing. I'm a bit more cynical. However, because of the changes I've seen since I've been here, positive change just might happen quicker than I expect. I hope so because I've come to the point where I root for Korea's success too.
Sphere: Related Content
Okay, it's officially on.
My first interview for the Korea Herald's new Expat Living section was printed this past Thursday. I've got two more in the pipeline that I need to write and, hopefully, one more interview to do before I take off for vacation in a week.
I had a chance to interview, Dorothy Nam. I've known her for years. I figured it would be a good way to ease into the process. Plus, she's a media personality and could give me some tips as she wrote a similar column for the Korea Times a couple of years ago.
The article will only be on the Korea Herald site for a limited amount of time, but I can repost my articles on my blog. However, check the section out. It's got tons of interesting folks writing for it including my friends, Joe McPherson of ZenKimchi and Michael Hurt, the Metropolitician, who was accidentally outed as FeetManSeoul a few weeks ago by the AP feature he was in. There are also other K-Bloggers like Robert Koheler who runs The Marmot's Hole, which I think is probably the most popular K-blog out there. There are other K-Bloggers like EFL Geek and the Gypsy Scholar. I can't remember everyone writing for the section and I've only met some of them once. However, I think it's got something to offer for anyone interested in Korea from a foreign perspective whether you live here or abroad.
Anyway, here is my first article for them.
Regina Walton`s Expat interviews Dorothy Nam: radio host, teacher, CEO
"One thing you notice when you speak to Dorothy Nam is her outgoing personality. Her character is further emphasized by a cheerful disposition and broad smile, which makes her a pleasure to have a conversation with. Dorothy has been in the Korean broadcasting scene for years. Moving to Korea in 1996, she has spent a substantial amount of time finding her place in Korean society. As someone who was raised in the United States since she was 3-years-old, she has managed to integrate back into Korean society and do it with a lot of success.
Her most recent project is the "Evening Groove," which airs on Arirang Radio daily from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The show deals with what`s hot in general, touching on what`s happening in food, culture, customs and various trendy spots in Korea. She has quite a few interesting co-hosts on the show, too. Her co-hosts range from a Berklee School of Music graduate to a popular comedian from the "Gag Concert" TV show.
Dorothy is a hard working celebrity and has many projects on the go. Her newest is a radio show set to begin on Jan. 14 called "Seoul of Asia." It will air on the Traffic Broadcasting System, Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. The show`s focus will be on entertaining and informing the foreign population. It will have music and information about events in Korea. Listeners will be able to tune in to the show using digital radio.
When she first arrived in Korea she taught in Daejeon at Woo Song University. It was while working there that she was encouraged to audition for a television show on the Educational Broadcasting System. Years later, when I met her, she was working at EBS while simultaneously teaching English courses at Hongik University in Seoul. As the years have passed, her activities have gotten more impressive. She is now affiliated with Paik Studios, the group that manages media relations for Korean artist Paik Nam-june`s works. She is also CEO of her own media company, Dorothy Inc.
Both her length of time here and success make Dorothy a great source of information on how to hit the ground running when you move to Korea as an expatriate. Because of her professional success, she can offer up some great advice to foreigners living in Korea and Kyopos. She smiled and immediately outlined her advice. "There are three things, basically."
First, master cultural niceties: Learn the greetings and how to say goodbye, when to stand or bow, and how to say "thank you" in Korean. Also, she said "learn to like the food because a lot of the social things happen with food here."
Most importantly, show respect to people older than you or to people who have been in your profession longer than you. The senior-junior social hierarchy is everywhere in Korean society. It`s essential to recognize that social balance is important, even if you might not agree with it. Therefore, show the respect due to someone who would be considered your "senior."
"The faster you do that, the faster you`ll blend in. The longer you hold out, the longer you`ll be kept away from your goal.""
The Adobe Acrobat file of the page (the link is long gone, but this is better anyway):
Yes, that's my name up there, but Joe McPherson, ZenKimchi, outed me in this post months ago. (Yeah, that's right, I didn't mention that interview on my blog.)
Oh!!! Living up to his nickname, the EFL Geek has a work around for direct linking Korea Herald articles.. I'm not using Firefox however but I will be getting a speedier computer when I get back from vacation. I'll master it then and update these Korea Herald posts then.
Thanks Geek ;) Sphere: Related Content
Saturday, January 19, 2008
80s hip hop and rap. Now that's some great stuff.
Positive messages --- and both the Queen and Movie Love are still out there doing their thing.
I printed out this op-ed article weeks ago, but only now have I had time to blog it.
I agree with them for the most part. They're not denying that there is still system racism and that black Americans still face external obstacles. Taking action, eschewing victimhood and taking a positive approach can significantly impact systemic racism.
Blacks must drop victimhood and reclaim dignity by Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint
African Americans can succeed despite the forces of poverty and systemic racism. But first we must shed the mind-set of victimhood.
Martin Luther King had a dream that some day his children would "live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
He wanted his children to become strong, beautiful people. But what we see today in poor African American neighborhoods is a nightmare.
We know there are forces that make the ability to escape poverty seem bleak: overburdened single-parent homes, a high dropout rate, joblessness, gangs, drugs, crime, incarceration, deaths at an early age from guns fired by angry black men. We know that systemic racism and governmental neglect still exist.
Yet we in the black community must look at ourselves and understand our own responsibility. We sometimes inflict ourselves with a victim mentality, feel hopeless, and do self-destructive things that make our lives even worse. Many people who are trying to make it find themselves struggling against fellow African Americans so lost in self-destructive behaviors that they bring down other people as well as themselves.
These forces are decimating our communities. And they are not what Reverend King and other leaders took those whuppings for. This is not the future for which our ancestors escaped slavery or resisted it. None of our forebears sacrificed their lives so that their children's children could call each other "nigger."
Time to overcome
We cannot accept this current state of affairs. We must realize – and believe – that, for all the external hassles we face, we are not helpless. We can overcome the odds and succeed in spite of the obstacles. And we must try. Despite the fact that racial discrimination has not been eliminated, black strength lies in the resolve to keep on keeping on, never quit, never give up, never yield to the role of cooperative victim.
Since the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision to end school segregation, black people have achieved extraordinary accomplishments on all fronts that seemed unthinkable 50 years ago.
As black people face the future, we must remember our successes in American society.
One way slaves survived brutal conditions was to turn the Christianity they had learned into a liberation theology. The stories of the Hebrew slaves became their own. Even as slave owners used the Bible to justify slavery, black people used the Bible as God intended – to give people hope for a time when there would be true justice.
For black people to hold their heads high even today means getting rid of internal feelings of inferiority.
A history of obstacles
This can be difficult given that white supremacists had real clout in this nation for nearly 250 years.
Take, for example, the very definition of a "black" person in America. Historically, a person with any known black ancestry was defined as black, making African ancestry a taint on white purity.
The way race is defined in the United States makes no biological or genetic sense. It's been used primarily as a tool for political and psychological oppression – providing economic gain for many white people.
The Emancipation Proclamation, written in 1863 during the Civil War, finally freed slaves in the South from bondage. After slavery, there was a short-lived period of "Reconstruction" in the South when black people started businesses, bought property, voted, and even served in Congress.
But old habits die hard, especially racist ones. When Northerners wearied of Reconstruction, the old South reared its head and imposed "Jim Crow" segregation.
Buying into victimhood
Although few acknowledge it, the doctrine of white supremacy has sunk deeply into the minds of too many Americans, black people included. It has slithered its way into the psyches of poor black youth with low self-esteem, who equate academic success with "acting white." If success is "white," then are they saying that to "act black" is to fail?
We wonder how these embedded stereotypes affect black people today. Are we too dependent? Do we rely too much on white people or "the system" to rescue us? Do we lack faith in our own ability to run things? Has the legacy of slavery affected even our current mental state?
Too many people, including some black people, believe many poor black youth – particularly males – cannot be educated. This position harkens back to the notion of poor genes determining poor performance rather than poor environment, poor schools, or a music scene that imparts destructive, degrading values. The good must be separated from the bad while treating black people with respect and not demeaning an entire culture.
Victors through community, family
When restaurants, laundries, hotels, theaters, groceries, and clothing stores were legally segregated, black people opened and ran their own.
Such successes provided jobs and strength to black economic well-being. They also gave black people that gratifying sense of an interdependent community with people working to help each other.
During legal segregation, white racists destroyed some of these economically independent communities. To their credit, our ancestors did not accept victimhood. They fought back as individuals and as a people. Most refused to become passive victims of the system.
Black neighborhoods today must adopt that same can-do attitude and take action. They must be enterprising and work hard to improve their own economic situation – and by so doing, help improve the community.
This tenacious drive to be victorious is a quality that will help us meet the current challenges in our neighborhoods.
We can pass this sense of strength on to our children by strengthening black families, whatever their structure, and nurturing our youth with love and guidance. We must put children first and sharpen our parenting skills in both single-parent and two-parent homes. Fathers must play a bigger role. They cannot be absent. Children do better when fathers are actively involved in their lives.
With the help of supportive social policies, we can shoulder the remaining challenges and overcome the barriers to black success.
The driving force for change has been the activism of African Americans and others who take up our cause. The key word is activism, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We must be actively involved in empowering our schools and participating in the political process by exercising our right to vote. Being passive takes us nowhere. Activism is what gets us where we want to go.
It is time to think positively and act positively. A people armed with the will to want to get better, armed with the will to win, and armed with knowledge of the past and present, can move forward and take action, succeed, and reclaim their dignity.
Sphere: Related Content
Another group that MUST be in an 80s flashback, Duran Duran.
Planet Earth (the one that started it all):
Girls on Film (and the scandalous one that locked infamy down for them):
Hungry Like the Wolf:
Save a Prayer:
My Own Way:
Is There Something I Should Know:
Friday, January 18, 2008
It's a double Random 80s vid post night.
I'm listening to the Big Hits of the 80s station on Launch.com and this song came on. I had to find the video.
I love Pat Benatar! Whatever happened to her? Time for me to head over to Wikipedia to see what it says.
You can't do an 80s video fest without videos from Tina Turner's Private Dancer album. It's an amazing album. In fact, I wish I had it here with me (it's in storage as is most of my stuff).
Here are the videos.
What's Love Got To Do With It:
Let's Stay Together:
Better Be Good To Me:
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I saw this posted over at Hikaruland, and, well, I copied it. But I'm giving credit where credit is due ;)
Happy Birthday Dr. King, (I'm still on time 'cause we're a day ahead in South Korea.)
The lyrics. I admit I looked it up because I only know the chorus.
Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet,
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.
They're at it again.
It's not as funny as the first one, but it's still funny.
The black people ALWAYS steal.
Inner City Relations:
Even dough you steal my chicken, chocolates people I forgive!
Oh, damn...just in time for me to go home to L.A. Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge,
I'm trying not to loose my head.
(Ooh White Lines) Vision dreams of passion
(Blowin’ through my mind) and all the while I think of you
(High price) a very strange reaction
(For us to unwind) the more I see, the more I do
(Something like a phenomenon) Baby!
(Tellin your body to come along, but white lines blow away)
(Blow! Rock it! Blow!)
Monday, January 14, 2008
Come on...it's classic 80s.
Funny that even a bunch of geeks with red plastic hats ends up with a scantily clad woman in the video.
Update: Jan 14, 2008 @ 7:27pm
I got a comment that leaves a link to a Weird Al spoof. That spoof is of this video:
Oh, what the hell. While I'm updating, let me ad this one:
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I saw this on the FeetManSeoul website and I have to post it here.
Okay, the next time you're cornered by Koreans telling you how "kind" they are as if that should earn the whole race of them a badge of honor show them this.
Stay patient until around the :43 second mark.
It's rude on rude. I feel for the bride, I really do.
Moral: Some Koreans might be "kind" but others are the rudest and most inconsiderate people I've ever encountered. She was so focused getting back to her seat that, what, she neglected to notice the bride was walking down the damn aisle?
The range of human qualities from good to bad are present in Koreans just as it's present in all people.
It's also kind of funny, but it's so over the top on the rude scale that I find it hard to laugh.
Here is a good spoof that mentions how "kind" Koreans are. Some are, but some most definitely aren't.
I've loved David Bowie since the first time I heard his music as a little kid.
I bought a Bowie collection recently and posting thse vids reminds me to load it on the iPod when I head off for vacation in a couple of weeks.
He released Let's Dance in the 80s and that album had quite a few hits.
Here are some of those vids!
The repost below inspired me to finally write this up.
I snapped this picture weeks ago when I was on my way home.
I was in the Gwanghwamun/Jongno area of the city near my home. It's a picture of an flier from a business that people can call when they're too drunk to drive their car home. The name is "Kind Driver". Note the real easy number 080-888-8888. You've got to be damn drunk NOT to remember that.
This flier was along the renovated Cheonggyecheon stream area. There are tons of drinking establishments for the hard working businessmen and women that work in the area. And, believe me, drinking is a popular pastime in Korea, so this 대리은전 service is needed.
Since the area is en route from Ewha to my home, I went through it almost nightly when I was at Ewha. When you walk around you'll see fliers put on cars and scattered on the sidewalk.
You call them. They'll come out and drive your drunken self home in your own car. That way you don't have to worry about remembering where you left your car or coming back to retrive your car.
I've only experienced it once. I used to drive up from Jochiwon to Seoul every couple of weeks when I taught at Seochang campus of Korea University (yep, I've finally revealed it.) It would always be a pretty intense weekend. This was a weekend in November because it was the weekend of a friends annual Thanksgiving party. There is always a lot of food and a lot of liquor on hand. This particular year it was held in the Hongdae, Hongik University, area of town and Hongdae IS a party zone. My friend, being smart, hired a driver for his little Daewoo Matiz car. It was great. We partied carefree into the wee hours. The driver showed up, dropped off one of my friends at her place and got me and my friend back to his place safely. It was also a lot of fun because the driver was a chatty guy and we were happy drunks. I can't imagine how bad the job can be if you're stuck with a mean or completely out of it drunk.
It's a great idea. I don't think it would work in the US as it does here simply because there is so much violent crime. I wouldn't trust calling a number left on my car in metro L.A. However, maybe marketing could be different in the States. Maybe bars and restaurants could have partnerships with business that provided drivers for drunks.
Someone get on that. Make a lot of money and save some lives doing it.
Hell, scratch that, I'll move home and I'll do it ;-) Sphere: Related Content
It's a great message that's well with a repost, so here it is. It also makes me feel better as I'll be rolling around my hometown of L.A. in a few weeks in my rented Mini Cooper, and I've gotta admit the last thing I was is some celeb (or anyone for that matter) taking me out because they're driving drunk.
Designate a driver, hire a driver, call a friend, hail a cab, take the bus, get on the subway...whatever you do, don't drive.
With Chad, Left, seated. (With glasses)
I'm taking to the blog today to share something with you that I feel more passionate about than I saw coming.
I want to make it short and sweet so that anybody who wants to re-print it can copy and paste without editing...
Went out to dinner Thursday night. My car. One glass of wine. Carpooled from dinner to go out to one more place. Everyone in my car. At the next spot, I do the Diet Coke with Lime thing. My favorite scotch (Lagavulin 16 year) arrives under my nose. "Can't do it," I say. Then I find out my friend has switched to Designated Driver and has a plan that involves everyone getting home safe. Cool. I love Lagavulin when the time is right. Now it's the end of the night and I'm feeling wonderfully buzzy and ready to get dropped off to my house in my car, except the person that was going to follow my car in the DD's car to drive him back isn't in shape to drive either.
It's 2 o'clock in the morning. I call my housemate Chad. Chad's sleeping. He was in the studio all day. I explain to him that I need him to jump in the back seat of my car, ride to the DD's car and drive me back home. Of course Chad says "yes" and comes through like a champ. A champ, I say.
Here's what I want to tell you:
If I, incredibly hot/fugly John Mayer can make that call, so can you.
The distance from the parking lot to my house was about 5 miles, mostly straight shot up the coast of Santa Monica, zero traffic. And I didn't drive it. Me. The guy who gets the VIP velvet rope treatment in life.
Oh, and the call? It's not the coolest you'll ever sound. And the logistics? It's kind of inelegant. You trace the same route twice when all you want to do is fall into bed. But you gotta do it.
This is all coming from a guy who you can be sure would have found a sexier way to get home if there was one available. And there just isn't, especially in LA. (You can be sexy again the next day when you wake up with the rest of your big, beautiful life in front of you.)
I'm not writing this to earn golf claps, it's just that if I'm going to stand in any way as an ambassador of something cool or influential, this is more important than any pair of sneakers or a guitar.
And to give a big high five to the Chads of the world.
See you around
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Saturday, January 12, 2008
I gotta say I still love this album.
Even the boys wore makeup!
Words - banned on MTV for, get this...too much skin. These days, that's laughable.
Friday, January 11, 2008
I woke up early to finish my first Expat Living article. I heard thunder and it was darker than usual out I could tell. However, I assumed it was rain. I got ready for work and opened the door to see snow!
I knew my commute would be amusing but I knew that EVERYONE'S commute would be the same. Traffic was so bad that I walked from the subway station to my moonlighting gig because traffic was so slow that the autos just weren't moving at all. I actually beat the mini-bus that drops me near where I'm working. I also learned that the snow plow move works not only with skiing but with walking ;)
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Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I saw this clip awhile back but it was via MSN and there was no link to embed it. Honestly, if I can't post it easily, I just move on. However, it's making the rounds on Facebook via its YouTube link.
This is so funny and it's cute. It's a great wedding first dance.
Not only am I working like a red-headed stepchild, I'm also sick with a nasty cold. For the last two nights I've treated myself to 감자탕, potato soup. It's great!
However, what's funny to me because I'm a child of parents born and raised in rural Georgia. That means I was raised on some great soul food and, lucky me, my mom was one of the best cooks in my family.
Now let me tell you right now 감자탕 is not potato soup it's neckbone soup!
Koreans, like black Americans, have struggled and eat "low on the hog" as they say. My mother's collard green and neckbone dinners were incredible. I'm proud to stay I can whip up a mean dish of them myself. However, here I rarely bother with it because it does take time and time I don't have a lot of right now.
Imagine my joy last night and tonight when I'm sick and missing my mommy like mad to have a bowl of 감자탕. It's basically boiled neckbones with some vegetables tossed in. Seriously, my first bowl of 감자탕 had two sad looking potatoes and about three or four neckbones.
The restaurant I went to tonight had a more home feel to it and, therefore, tasted better. But both were great. If I didn't have plans for dinner tomorrow night, I'd go for another bowl tomorrow. I might be completely wrong, but I do think my cold is better for it.
I'm not a food blogger, check the sidebar for them, so I'll leave it at that. It's time for me to get some work done anyway.
Over and out...
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Okay, I know I've been MIA re real blogging these days, but I'm working a teaching job during my vacation that has me working like crazy. I have three day weekends every week for goodness sake! I've gone soft not just with my weight. I haven't worked this hard for extra money in awhile, and I won't do it again anytime soon. I'm going on vacation at the end of the month, so I had to find work within a very tight time frame, so my choices were limited. However, I'm trying to maintain my social life while I'm at it and it's keeping me busy.
The other reason is I'm one of the columnists writing for a new section for the Korea Herald called Expat Living. The website is really buggy, and has crappy pop-ups (so set your pop-up blocker). I'll just say that right now. If you've noticed, I've never linked to a Korea Herald article simply because the website makes it too difficult. Plus, with other sites that encourage links, there is no need to. As a result, I can't even link directly to this new section. Instead, I can direct you to the website and tell you the Expat Living section is linked in the "Weekly" section on the left hand sidebar. There just isn't much the editors can do re the website, so take your complaints to the webmaster.
My column is still yet to be named, but basically, I'll interview interesting people, mostly foreigners. They will be people who live here, people who've just stopped by for a visit, non-Koreans and ethnic Koreans. Basically, it will be people with some tie to Korea who are, in some way, interesting. The goal is to just show more than the stereotype of what foreigners do with their lives here in Korea. I found it to be very frustrating that during the time I wasn't working here people assumed that I was either a teacher or, since I'm a black American, was with the US military. No offense to either group, but I was in school thank you very much. There are other foreigners here doing other things too. Another goal is to show the reach that South Korea and Korean culture has worldwide because I find that Koreans can't wrap their heads around how or why people might be interested in their culture and they're not very good at selling it. On the other side, foreigners tend to have very pat and one dimensional assessments of the culture. So maybe my column can help from that perspective too. My first interview will be published in next week's section (I think...I'm still getting my bearings.)
So, if you've been wondering where I am, and that goes for people who read my other two blogs too, I'm just incredibly busy. Things won't get back to normal until sometime late next month.
Also, my friend Joe is a columnist. Here is his post on Expat Living. There are quite a few other K-Bloggers who will have columns in this new section. Click over to Joe's post for a few other names. It's quite exciting to be a part of it, so check it out if you're so inclined.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I couldn't find the music video but THIS performance is sooooooooooooooooooo 80s!
This song popped in my head when I purchased this for part of the 80s extravaganza:
It's so Flashdance.
However, I can't find the original video to the song. But this has Irene Cara singing with some color coordinated dancers. It's great!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I was clicking around and found this Korea-focused year end quiz on the London Korean Links website. And, good for you, it has the answers!
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Match the alleged quote with the appropriate chaebolAnswers: 1: C; 2: B; 3: A
- The conglomorate had run a vast network that bribed government officials, prosecutors, tax collectors, journalists and scholars
- I don’t want to take a gamble on causing a crisis in the country’s economy
- The sentence of one year and six months is a bit too heavy
This has been such a good year for this type of thing that it was a struggle to select the appropriate quotes.The Hanwha quote, of course, relates to the get-out-of-jail trick by convicted thug, loving father and budding pyjama-model Kim Seung-youn, Hanwha’s Chairman.The Hyundai quote, is again from the get-out-of-jail trick by the Hyundai Motor chief Chung Mong-koo.
‘The sentence of one year and six months is a bit too
heavy,’ Presiding Judge Kim Deuk Hwan told a packed courtroom at Seoul
Central District Court, citing Kim’s health condition and a lack of a
previous criminal record.
“The Hyundai Motor Group plays a huge rule in the country’s economy and Chung,” said Judge Lee Jae-hong. “I don’t want to take a gamble on causing a crisis in the country’s economy [by puttinghim in jail].”
In February a court found Mr Chung guilty of embezzling about $100m of company funds and inflicting about $224m of damage on affiliates inthe process of their rights offerings.
The suspension of the sentence is contingent on Mr Chung, the son of Hyundai’s founder, fulfilling his promise to donate about Won 1,000bn to charity, building a concert hall, opera house and other cultural centres nationwide over the next seven years. And giving lectures on
corporate governance, a subject he is clearly an expert on.
Finally, the Samsung quote relates to claims by an ex-presidential aide that he received a bribe from Samsung.
Question 2: Why was an octopus in the news this year?
- For causing the death of a vegetarian film critic, shocked by watching a scene from Oldboy
- For finding some Koryo dynasty pottery on the seabed
- For assaulting a Cheju Island diver (haenyo)
Answer is of course (2). Source: Chosun Ilbo, 5 June 2007
Question 3: What would you be doing if you were “toying with a duck’s legs”?
- Executing a particularly difficult b-boy dance manoeuvre
- Playing baduk - and about to be beaten by a particularly sophisticated strategy
- Engaging in some Joseon dynasty rumpy-pumpy
Answer: (3). Source: Chosun Ilbo, 28 September 2007, on the discovery of Choson-dynasty pornographic play.
Question 4: Who is reported to have said: “I admit that even if I left the writing of my thesis to someone else, and that person plagiarized, the mistake is with me”?
- Shin Jeong-ah, apparently not only too idle to do her own work, but also careless enough to hire someone too idle to do the job properly
- Hyundai Motor chairman Chung Mong-koo, talking hypothetically in one of his lectures on corporate governance
- Junko Sagawa, the Japanese student propositioned by her professor
Answer: (1) - Shin Jeong-ah
The Shin Jeong-ah story had so many juicy ramifications that it was hard to pick just one. The Marmot has this particular story. He also has the Junko Sagawa story, but Junko Sagawa is not accused of plagiarism.
Question 5: Who has been named among the 50 most influential women in the entertainment industry?
- Jeon Do Yeon, following her performance in “Secret Sunshine”
- Kim Yun-jin, for her popular following in “Lost”
- BoA, for her continued chart success in Japan
Answer: (1) Jeon Do Yeon. Source: Chosun Ilbo, 3 August 2007
Question 6: Who said: “Sexiness is my weapon” - and what war was she fighting?Well, it could have been any of them, but the quote I was thinking of was Hyolee’s. Source: Chosun Ilbo, 5 June 2007. For photos of Ivy which might make you think she said something similar, visit Popseoul.
Other stories I didn’t get time to work into this quiz wereKim Yuna and Lee Teuk (a recent success of Kim Yuna is reported in the Chosun here)
- The Ok So-ri divorce (Chosun, 22 Oct and 25 Oct)
- Car show girls and Racing model billiards (Chosun, 16 Oct)
- Kim Hee Seon’s wedding (Chosun, 10 Aug)
- Ballerina and Vogue model Kim Ju-won, and the grotesque photos by Kim Yong-ho of ballerina Kang Ye-na’s hands and feet. ExpatJane covers the Kim Ju-won story well, while some of the Kim Ju-won photos can be found here.
- Something on the success of Korean classical artists in the West - ballerina Kang Sue-jin in Stuttgart, or viola player Richard Yongjae O’Neill in the US