A close shave

 

Before...

Before…

...after

…after

Shaving off the beard proved to be a royal pain in the ass.  Took about six razors because they kept getting jammed with hair.  I had tried to buy one of those old fashioned razors with the double edged blade.  Found the blades but no razor to put them in.  So I bought a cheap-ass set of disposables and hacked away.  The ‘stache ain’t right yet, but I lost interest.  Now it’s off to get a haircut…

 

Justifying Justified

Commenter Kevin asks if I would recommend the television series Justified and if so, why?  The first part is easy: I highly recommend the show.  As to the why, I really suck at writing reviews so I’ll just offer up my general impressions and the things I liked enough to keep me watching (26 episodes in 48 hours).  Of course I don’t have a life, but still.

You can get a pretty good synopsis of the show’s premise at the link above.  Basically, it’s the story of the exploits of a quick-on-the-draw U.S. Marshal based in rural Kentucky.  Think of Matt Dillon in the 21st century.  Timothy Olyphant (you probably remember him from Deadwood) is outstanding in the lead role as Raylan Givens.  In the category of things I like, consistently excellent acting from almost all the featured characters is pretty high on my list.

I have a pretty low tolerance for stupid so I find it difficult to find shows on TV that hold my interest.  The writing on Justified is witty and gritty.  There’s plenty of action to keep you entertained, but the writers also develop complex and believable characters that you can care about.  Even the bad guys.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a television series set in the South that didn’t rely on the tired old stupid redneck stereotypes.  Don’t get me wrong, the show is chock full of hillbillies, but lots of them are quite intelligent despite the way they talk.  Just like in real life.  I particularly like Boyd Crowder, Deputy Marshal Givens’ main antagonist.  The “uneducated” son of a coal miner and Harlan County’s crime boss sounds stupid until you listen to what he says–who’d expect a dumb hick to be quoting Walt Whitman?  I especially liked how the carpetbaggers from Detroit “misunderestimated” their adversary.  Wish YouTube had some decent clips I could share of some of those interactions.  Anyway, it’s just refreshing to see Southerners portrayed as other than caricatures.

Each season has it’s own story arc, which helps keep things fresh what with characters being killed off and new ones introduced.  I’ve found it all consistently entertaining and I think you will to.  Enjoy

Justified

This week’s accomplishments include a marathon viewing of Justified episodes.  Watched all of season 3 and season 4 via my Amazon Prime account.  For some reason Amazon wants to charge me to watch season 5 (probably owing to its recentness).  As entertaining and enjoyable as I find watching this series, I reckon I’ll wait until I can see it for free.

The new roof is up.  They came out yesterday afternoon and started in with all the associated noise and ruckus which precluded my normal afternoon nap.  They were still up there working when I left for some pub league dart action.  I guess all that pounding set off my alarm system.  I missed the call from ADT so they called the daughter to ask about sending out the police.  She managed to reach me and I told her all was well.  Although I’m guessing by the time the police might have been dispatched all my worldly possessions would have been long gone.

The work in progress.  They didn't finish yesterday so this morning I awoke to the sound of nail guns being fired into the roof.  At 0730.

The work in progress. They didn’t finish yesterday so this morning I awoke to the sound of nail guns being fired into the roof. At 0730.

And in other news, there is no other news.  I’m still without a wife so I’ll be traveling to Myrtle Beach for the Ghost on the Coast dart tournament this weekend all by my lonesome.  Well, according to this article, learning new words activates the same pleasure centers in the brain as sex and drugs.  So maybe I’ll take along a thesaurus.  .

Git ‘er done

Yep, JD's Too was a classic redneck dive.  I kinda liked it.

Yep, JD’s Too was a classic redneck dive. I kinda liked it.

So last night I ventured out to the Dixiana hamlet for an evening of darts.  I was immediately struck by a full display of every Confederate flag used during the short life of that failed republic.  I assumed the battle flag with the “Git-er-Done” entreaty was meant to inspire me to darting greatness.  Sadly, that was not to be the case.  One dart away from victory and I inexplicably imploded.  Damn, I hate when that happens.  Lost to a couple of Yankees to boot (New York and Detroit).  Ah well, I shall not forget and the Walrus will rise again!

Well, at least I have a roof over my head.  Back in May there was a massive hail storm.  Since my return from the ROK I’ve been besieged by roofing contractors wanting me to file an insurance claim for a new roof.  At first I couldn’t be bothered with it, but this week I finally relented and called the insurance adjustor.  Sure enough, I had damage that warranted replacement.  So I’m getting a new roof.  The $1000. deductible stings a bit, but with the house going on 20 years old I’d likely need to replace the roof at some point anyway.

So this stuff showed up in my yard yesterday.  I wondered if I should have specified that I wanted the new roof installed?

So this stuff showed up in my yard yesterday. I wonder if I should have specified that I wanted the new roof installed?

And in other news, I’ve made my peace with the guy running the dart league.  I wrote about that conflict here.  I was grousing to a couple of dart buddies about the situation and after listening politely to my rant, one of them said “so when are you going to man up and talk to the guy to resolve this?”  Realizing he was right in that there is no point in walking around with a huge grudge on your back, I extended the olive branch.  We basically agreed to disagree on the issue, put the matter behind us, and move on.  I think we both feel better about it and now I can get back to just focusing on my game while ignoring the politics.

And that’s about it.  I took note of the fact that I had a 48 hour period this past week where I had absolutely no human interaction whatsoever.  I am a rock.  I touch no one and no one touches me.

 

Losing it

drama

Regular readers know I’m all about avoiding the drama that seems to inevitably follow the dart scene.  While I was in Korea there was a falling out with the owner of the venue that hosted our singles league here in Columbia.  I wrote about that here.  So the upshot of that unpleasantness is the league moved to another bar.

I played a match last week at the old bar.  When I turned in the score sheet the guy running the league was not happy.  He told me if I played at any other bar again he wouldn’t count my score.  I pointed out that nothing in the rules dictated where matches had to be played.  He said this bar is hosting the league.  I said are they paying the league money for us to be here?  No, so why does it matter where I play?  And then he told me he wasn’t going to discuss it further.

Later, on the league Facebook page he wrote that since “CWs was kind enough to give us a place to play”, all matches had to be played there.  This was my response:

It is “kind” indeed that CW’s has so graciously allowed us to come and spend our money at their bar and play darts in their otherwise unused back room. And while I’m sure we owe them a debt of gratitude for that act of generosity, it does seem to me an equal amount of loyalty is owed to the players in the league. Since CW’s is not financially supporting the league, I don’t understand why if a player finds it more convenient or desirable to play at a different venue and his opponent agrees, why you or anyone else would have an issue with that. Prior to the start of the season I asked ” I assume I can play my matches at another venue by mutual agreement with my opponent, correct?” and you responded “yeah”.(see post on September 30). So the only misunderstanding or confusion I’m seeing is how the “rules” were changed mid-stream. Did I miss a vote or something? Regardless, I believe that playing the matches is what we are about, not where we play the matches. I’ll abide by the dictates of the league leadership if I must, but if I’m ever disrespected again for asking a question I’m gone. Or you can fire me now. Your choice.

He responded by berating me for taking our dispute public.  And the kicker was he said if I had an issue I should have talked to him about it off-line.  Which is precisely what he refused to do when I attempted it.

Well, I founded the league but I don’t pretend to own it.  When I was running things folks were free to play wherever they wanted.  I’m not running things now and apparently the new dictator is going to do it his way.  I considered taking the highway but without darts I basically have no life.  So I’ll just have to suck it up, even if doing so, well, sucks.

And that Facebook comment and this post represent the total extent of my caring.  Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

Off the Rails

Last night I played the Friday darts tourney at a new (to me) bar called Off the Rail.  The owner’s name is Jim, but that’s where any similarity with Dolce Vita Pub begins and ends.  The bar sits across the railroad tracks from the Sandhills shopping center.  You might say it sits on the wrong side of the tracks as it’s a bit of a dive.  The clientele last night consisted of a handful of darters, some bikers, and various other working class types.  Nothing wrong with that of course, and we all got along.

The bar is within spitting distance of the tracks and as I was preparing to make a dart throw a passing freight train blew it’s horn at a road crossing.  I nearly jumped out of my shoes but managed to hold on to the dart and recompose myself.  This is certainly not the place to play if you are easily distracted.

The match itself went alright I suppose.  I got teamed up with owner Jim and we made it to the finals.  He claims to have thrown before and truth be told he wasn’t a bad shot.  But he had no real concept on how to play the game.  For example, when we were playing single in/double out 501 Jim would ask before EVERY throw “what do you want me to do here”.  Now, this is a basic game–you start at 501 and subtract the score of your three dart throw until you get to zero (you have to finish on a double; for example, if you have 32 left you’d throw a double 16).  There is no real strategy at the beginning of the game other than to get the highest score you can on your darts (the best possible throw is 180–three triple 20s).  I admit I’m not the most patient person you’re likely to meet, but it was pretty frustrating to continuously repeat throughout the night “just throw your darts at the 20 and subtract whatever you hit”.

Actually, I don’t mind helping inexperienced players improve their game.  My problem with Jim was he kept disappearing on me.  It would be his turn to throw and we’d have to drag him away from the bar where he was chatting up customers.  He didn’t seem to have any real interest in the match we were playing and he had zero appreciation for how rude it is to keep people waiting during a game.  I was so disgusted that by the time we made it to the finals I suggested to the other team that we just call it a tie and split 1st and 2nd place money 50-50.  They agreed I think because they could see I was in agony.

As I was fixing to leave I noticed a van had parked in such a way as to block my car access to the only exit I was aware of.  Rather than try and track down the errant van driver I went looking for another path of egress.  First I walked along the tracks behind Off the Rail only to encounter a dead end.  So then I walked a bit in the other direction and found a driveway alongside another business.  It took some maneuvering but I managed to make it out of the parking lot and safely home.

So that was my Off the Rails experience last night.  Sad to say it was one of the better nights I’ve had recently.  C’est la vie.

 

I read the news today, oh boy…

I'm not shaving (or smiling) much these days it seems...

I’m not shaving (or smiling) much these days it seems…

Just over a month into this American life and I’ve got say there is nothing much blog worthy to report other than “it sucks”.  Don’t believe me?  Let me share with you the events of this day in the life.

It began with an early (or late if you will) morning of television (Shameless) and a marathon round of Civilization that kept me plopped down in front of the computer until shortly after 3:00 a.m.  With my eyes burning and blurry I finally made my way to bed.

My sleep was more restless than usual and I awoke at 5:30 feeling cold.  Since my bed was devoid of a warm body to cuddle with, I fumbled in the dark for the switch to turn on my Korean-style heating pad.  Nothing like a warmth coming from below and soon enough I was back in slumber-land.

I opened my eyes again around 9:30 but basked in the glow of my hot bed (during the night I had kicked off the sheet and comforter, reckon I ought to dial it down a notch or two).  Hunger pangs finally drove me from my crib a little after ten.  Feeling unusually motivated, I baked up a batch of blueberry muffins rather than more normal fare of cereal and milk.  While the muffins were baking I rolled the trash receptacle to the curb.

The muffins came out warm and tasty and with my hunger satiated I commenced to do the laundry.  Two loads, whites and darks.  Even laundered the bedding.  My policy (recent though it may be–I had a maid in Korea and more recently a now absent wife) is to wash the sheets once a month whether they need it or not.  They probably did as I tend to frequent night sweats.

With the LG appliances humming about their business, I ventured out into the internets to catch up on world events.  Nothing had improved since I’d last checked.  I did leave a longish comment to this post on the Big Hominid’s blog concerning the high price of fuel.  Nothing all that insightful on my part, but certainly of more substance than the crap I post here at LTG.  And while you are over at Kevin’s blog make sure you read his outstanding post on the afterlife.  Death looms ever larger in my thoughts these days, but like Kevin I have my doubts about going to a better place (or anyplace for that matter) when my body finally succumbs to the daily abuse to which I subject it.  Heh, just thought of that old Blood, Sweat and Tears song “And when I die“.

I then proceeded to make my moves in Words with Friends, a Scrabble like game I play online.  I have multiple matches going with my brother and an old friend from Korea who now resides in Canada.

After I folded and put away the laundry I made up the bed with that fresh linen.  Feeling a sense of accomplishment, I sat back down in front of the computer and fired up a new round of Civilization.  A couple of hours later I heard rain pounding on the roof, so I opened the front door and watched that for awhile.

I got hungry again so I made myself a ham and cheese sandwich.  Then I checked the mail (just a water bill) and rolled the trash can back to the house.

I had a dart league captain’s meeting to attend tonight so I jumped in the shower, got dressed, and drove into downtown Columbia to a pub called Publick House.  On the way I stopped at Walgreen’s and bought a carton of smokes and three twelve-packs of Diet Coke.  Whatever gets you through the day, right?

I had nothing much to say at the meeting, mostly because I don’t care all that much about the pub league.  Things moved on during my lengthy absence and I’m kinda the outsider now, or at least it feels that way.  That, and I’m in a generally foul mood lately.  Not mad or upset with anyone in particular, just don’t give a shit about a league I helped found.  Or much of anything else really.  I think people took my silence as being more than it is though.  I’m not all that friendly on my best days, and I haven’t had a “best” day since I got back in country.

After the meeting we played some darts.  I didn’t throw all that well and my partner played worse, so it was two and done for us.  Paid my tab, tipped the waitress, and drove on home.

Sent the wife a message telling her I need her to come home to me.  She responded that she is getting really frustrated with the landlord and is ready to say fuck it (I’m paraphrasing) and leave.  I don’t really understand why she can’t move out before the apartment sells, I guess it may have something to do with getting her rather substantial key money back (somewhere in the neighborhood of $150,000).  Anyway, she’s going to give it a few more days and then make arrangements to return to the USA.  Her caveat is that if and when the apartment sells, she’ll need to return to Korea.  My attitude is we’ll see what happens when and if that time comes.

I finished the day by writing this depressing and meaningless post.  Which I guess is an apt description of my American life.

And now you know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.

Are you coming?

orgasm

According to this article in  Mail Online, “there is no such thing as a vaginal orgasm, a clitoral orgasm or even a G-spot  Instead, the umbrella term ‘female orgasm’ should be used, the study authors argue.”

Well, I guess it was just a matter of time until the political correctness virus invaded the sanctity of our bedrooms.  I’m no scientist but I have it on good authority that there are in fact three types of female orgasms.  An old girlfriend told me so.  Of course, I asked her to explain and here’s what told me.

First, you have the affirmative orgasm which sounds like this: oh yes! oh yes! oh yes!

And then there’s the religious orgasm: oh god! oh god! oh god!

“So, what’s the third type?” I asked her.

She laughed and said well that’s the fake orgasm–“oh John! oh John! oh John!”

I don’t miss that bitch at all.

 

 

 

Nada y nada

Not much posting going on here at LTG of late, but the fact of the matter is there just isn’t much happening in my life worthy of note.  Of course, that’s never stopped me from writing about nothing before.  Truth is, I’m in a bit of a funk.  It goes beyond mere boredom.  I was often bored in Korea as well, but at least I wasn’t so damn lonely.  Yes, I miss my wife.

I’m one of those types who just doesn’t seem to fare well on his own.  I tend to sink into an abyss of unmotivated laziness.  Jee Yeun would shame me out of my worst behaviors, like sitting around in my underwear all day smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo.  Well, the television is better quality that the Statler Brothers enjoyed but you get my meaning.  I’ve also been playing Civilization marathons which fills the hours but leaves me feeling unsatisfied and a little depressed.  I’m just wasting time, however comfortably and well.  And at my age, the last thing I should be doing is wasting whatever time I might have left.  I reckon I ought to put a boot up my ass and break out of this cycle of despair.  Just not sure where to start and I’m feeling trapped.  Fuck it.  I’ll think of something.

If it weren’t for darts I might not ever leave the house.  I’ve taken road trips to play in Charlotte and Aiken, and tomorrow I’m going to head up to Greenville for the afternoon to shoot in a regional qualifier.  I’ve been a little disappointed with the degradation of the dart scene here in Columbia.  Some personality conflicts have created a situation where darts are no longer played at my favorite pub.  I did my best to mend those fences but to no avail.  So I’m breaking out on my own and starting a new tournament that I’m calling #TDT (throw darts Thursday).  Not sure I can bring people back but I’ll give it a shot.

And that’s about it.  I haven’t heard from Jee Yeun for a few days.  I’m guessing they don’t have internet in the countryside or something.  Last time we talked (messaged) she said she’d be coming home to me as soon as she can get moved out of her apartment.  I’m hoping that means sometime this month.

“It’s like I told you, only the lonely can play…”

Dear John

This week I was notified that I was not selected for the job I applied for.  It is pretty much what I expected, but I was still a little dejected.  Especially because I was so well connected with a friend in the company.  Not sure if it was something I neglected to put in my resume, or perhaps it was something I wrote to which they objected.  But now that I’ve reflected, the resume is pretty much perfected (even the grammar has been corrected) and my experience in the field is well respected.  And while my confidence has not been affected, I have detected certain barriers to my employment may have been erected.  Perhaps it is my age as I’ve previously suspected.  Or maybe that’s just what I’ve projected but I’ve elected not to be infected by self-doubt.  Regardless, my pension checks will still be collected so my finances are pretty much protected.

Ah well.

Don’t leave home without it

My new driving accessory arrived in today’s mail.

My own personal breathalyzer...

My own personal breathalyzer…

When I opened the back to insert the batteries I got a little surprise that made me laugh out loud (hey, I’m easily entertained):

Who'd a thunk it?  Ah well, it goes well with my Samsung TV and LG appliances.  Guess next thing on my shopping list will be a Kia...

Who’d a thunk it? Ah well, it goes nicely with my Samsung TV and LG appliances. Guess next thing on my shopping list will be a Kia…

Anyway, I took it for a *ahem* test drive tonight.  Before leaving the house I gave it a blow and registered 0.00 blood alcohol content (BAC).  Since I hadn’t had anything to drink it seemed to be working to perfection.  First stop was a new bar for me called Over the Rails.  It sits right next to the CSX railroad line, hence the name.  The owner wants to install a couple of dart boards so me and a pal dropped in to reconnoiter the joint.  It’s a bit of a dive, but the staff and patrons were friendly enough.  Had two icy cold Mich Ultras and headed to the car to see precisely how drunk I wasn’t.

In accordance with the instructions, I fired up the BACtrack and let it do its 12 second warmup.  At the appointed time I took a deep breath and gave it a hardy 5 second blow.  And it registered a BAC reading of 0.67, perilously close to the legal limit of 0.8.  I was a bit dismayed until I remembered the instructions emphatically stated that you must wait 20 minutes after your last alcoholic beverage to ensure an accurate reading.  I had waited maybe 2 minutes at most.

Seeing as how I was still technically on the legal side of the limit I felt confident enough to drive the two miles to my regular pub, Kwagga.  Played some darts and enjoyed two more beers.  Then I had a diet Coke and waited the specified 20 minutes before passing wind into my breathalyzer.  This time I got a much more satisfactory reading of 0.36.  So, four beers in two and a half hours and I was less than half-drunk.  Which tells me my self-imposed limit of five beers in three hours was pretty much on target (a bucket of five bottles of beer sells for a discounted rate of ten bucks which is why I go that route).  But there’s nothing like the peace of mind and confidence you gain when you don’t have to fear being arrested.

A commenter on my previous post about the BACtrack asked if the product came with a guarantee.  After reading the instruction booklet I can state with certainty that it does not.  In words that only a lawyer could write it made clear (repeatedly) that it is never safe to operate a motor vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol.  Furthermore, the results of the BACtrack are not admissible in a court of law.  And just in case you missed it, the last page of the booklet contains one line of words in capital letters: DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.  So I won’t. Much. And certainly not while driving.

In other news, my buddy Duke up in Northern Virginia left a comment on the post where I mentioned I had applied for a job at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul.  Turns out that vacancy is with the company he works for.  The hiring decisions are made a couple of pay grades below him, but he did forward my resume with a recommendation from him to the folks who will make the selection.  I figure that may boost my prospects, although Duke did note that they give first preference to military veterans.  I had no idea at the time I applied that I actually had an inside connection.  And if Duke hadn’t read my blog he wouldn’t have known I was looking for work there.  IF (and that’s a BIG if in bold face letters) I have the good fortune of being selected I would love the fact that after nearly ten years of blogging this damn hobby of mine actually paid off in a tangible way.  We’ll see.

Finally, for those readers who care about my darting “career”, I’m happy to report that I’m off to a hot start back here in America.   In the Tuesday pub league, I won 6 legs (our team totaled 8).  In last night’s Pointless Dart League tournament me and my partner earned a first place finish.  More darts on tap tomorrow in Columbia at the Publick House tourney and then I’ll drive up to Charlotte on Saturday morning to participate in a “fun shoot” at Steamer’s Pub.  Since I haven’t played there before I have to get “rated” prior to the the tourney.  Not sure what that entails but it should be interesting.

So there you have it.  Other than my continued sleep deprivation things are going about as well as might be expected.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

 

 

The new normal?

Six days in and my sleep pattern is still not right*.  Last night I was up late completing an online job application.  Went to bed around 2 a.m. and found myself wide awake at 4.  Back to bed at 6 a.m. and slept until 8.  Took a nap at 2 p.m. and woke up at 4.

If the pattern holds I reckon I’ll get the recommended 8 hours of sleep, except I’m getting it in fragments.  Which is fine I suppose, although during my waking hours I’m feeling lethargic and unmotivated.  Did make it out to the bank to deposit $236 in small checks from my inherited oil lease royalties that had accumulated during my time in Korea.  Thanks mom!

The job I applied for is with a military contractor on Yongsan Garrison that provides career counseling for soldiers and their family members who are leaving the service.  Although I’ve never actually worked as a career counselor my experience as a human resources manager I think qualifies me to teach folks job application and interviewing skills.  Of the jobs I’ve looked at this seems like the best fit.  I’m not optimistic the company will see it that way though.  But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Tonight I’ll make my darts debut in the Monsters of the Midlands pub league.  That may bleed over into my scheduled two hours of sleep, but I’ll adjust I suppose.

*I really don’t think this sleep disorder is entirely caused by jet lag.  Sleeping alone has also got me out of sorts.  It didn’t rain today so tomorrow I may get out the lawnmower and do some mowing.  Maybe a little physical exertion will convince my body it’s time for a good night’s sleep.

BACtrack

As most of my reader(s) know I enjoy drinking beer in social settings (although rarely at home).  While I don’t have much of a social life, I do play darts two or three times per week and I’ve found beer to be a useful tool in that endeavor.  In fact, beer is commonly referred to in the sport as “aiming fluid”.

Given the outstanding public transportation system in Korea I never really had to worry about the amount of beer I consumed during a dart match (other than recognizing that after a certain point inebriation will impact on the quality of my game).  Here in the USA there is no getting around driving to the various dart venues, so it is imperative to not drink in excess of the legal limit (currently .08 blood alcohol content in South Carolina) when operating a motor vehicle.  I’m actually very paranoid about driving after drinking.  I never get “drunk-drunk”, but I’m quite certain I could potentially exceed .08 with no outward signs of impairment.

The rule of thumb is to limit yourself to one drink per hour which I find difficult to do.  I’m a big guy and based on the online calculators I’ve looked at, I can probably partake in four beers in an hour without crossing the line.  What I normally do is drink five beers during a three hour dart match, then switch to diet Coke at the end of the evening.  That’s probably a “safe” amount, but other factors come into play (for example, what you have eaten) and the truth of the matter is you can never be certain.  Alcohol impairs judgement, and making the judgement that you are okay to drive after drinking is a fool’s bet.

Being arrested for DUI is an expensive and life altering event.  And that’s really the best case scenario.  God forbid you do something stupid which causes death or injury to yourself or someone else.  I’ve learned that two friends were busted for DUI during the six months I was staying in Korea.  I’ve also been told that DUI checkpoints are frequently set up along the route I travel home after a night of darting.  Despite my intent to be responsible when it comes to drinking and driving, I really fear inadvertently fucking up.

So, this morning I purchased one of these from a company called BACtrack:

My own personal breathalyzer.  A bargain at $129.95 considering what a miscalculation would cost me.

My own personal breathalyzer. A bargain at $129.95 considering what a miscalculation would cost me.

Once it arrives it will be interesting to see how accurate my personal rule-of-thumb has been.  But one thing is certain, I will never drive my vehicle anytime I am anywhere near the legal limit.  In fact, my plan is to not get behind the wheel at over .05. That’s the standard the federal government wants the states to impose.  It’s the right thing to do and you can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that comes with being a responsible driver.

 

 

Livin’ in the USA

Three days into this iteration of my American life and I’m still not sleeping.  Well, technically I am sleeping, but only in bursts of two or three hours at a time.  Not sure why I’m having such a hard time re-setting my circadian rhythms, but it is getting to be a bit of a pain in the ass.

After a long but uneventful flight on Wednesday I arrived at my South Carolina home at 6:30 p.m.  That concluded about a 22 hour door-to-door trip.  I managed maybe two hours of sleep on the plane so I was exhausted.  I had every intention of staying awake until midnight or so to get my body back on Carolina time, but at 8 p.m. I had to surrender and went to bed.  I awoke at 10:30 p.m. somewhat refreshed and definitely hungry.  So I headed out to the 24 hour supermarket to do some grocery shopping.  Came home and cooked up a rack of ribs and started watching season 4 of Game of Thrones.  Made it through 5 episodes or so, and tried to catch some sleep around 9 a.m.  Woke up at noon, and finished up GOT.  It seems every season concludes with the death of a major character, and I was pretty surprised at who they killed off this go around.  Won’t spoil it for you though if you haven’t seen it.

Fell asleep on my amazingly comfortable leather couch for about 3 hours and woke up hungry.  So I headed out to Rush’s, a local fast food chain, and ordered me up a basket of chicken wings.

Nice-uh!

Nice-uh!

After devouring that tasty chicken I fiddle-farted around on the computer until 2 a.m. or so and tried again to get a full night’s (or morning as it were) sleep.  No dice.  Woke at 3:30 and knew I’d be up for awhile.  So, I started watching VEEP, a mildly amusing political comedy featuring Julia-Louis Dreyfus.   Between episodes I baked up a batch of cinnamon rolls (well, I opened a can and popped them in the oven).  Obviously I haven’t initiated my low carb diet plan yet.  I had good intentions about doing some banking and running some errands, but I found myself growing sleepy shortly after noon, so I hit the sack for the longest period of sleep I’d managed thus far–four hours.

With Friday night looming my body told me it was time for some darts.  So I showered up and headed out to my local pub, Kwagga.  When I left for Korea back in March this was the place to be for dart action in Columbia.  Sadly, due to some personality conflicts the owner found it necessary (wrongly in my opinion) to ban several dart players from the bar.  Several others had moved away during my absence which left only me and one other guy there to play.  In fact, for most of the night we were the only customers in the bar.  I’m afraid that doesn’t bode well for the future of Kwagga, which is a shame really.  Still, the owner welcomed me back with a bucket of Michelob Ultra beer (hey, only 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per bottle!).  Dirk, the South African owner of Kwagga, mentioned he had a new item on the menu.  With his accent it sounded like he was saying “Buddha’s balls”, which didn’t sound too appetizing.  But it turns out it was more like boerwors, a South African sausage which was served on a bun.  Hell, it looked like a hot dog so I slathered it in ketchup.  Dirk was aghast and said “you just ruined it”.  He pointed to the sauce served on the side and said that’s what you are supposed to put on it.  Hell, I thought it was for dipping the chips.  Anyway, I found it quite tasty, ketchup and all.

I played darts until about 10:30 then headed home.  I felt sure that with some American beer and South African sausage in my belly I’d sleep like a baby through the night.  I stayed up until 12:30 just to be sure but alas, I woke up at 4:00 a.m.  With nothing else to do with myself I sat down at the keyboard to treat my faithful readers to this post which I believe perfectly captures the astounding boredom of my so-called life in the USA.

Once the rest of the world wakes up I plan to do a little shopping and maybe treat myself to a 5 Guys burger.

I consider this the best fast food burger in the USA.

I consider this the best fast food burger in the USA.

Later this afternoon the daughter is bringing the grandkids over for a visit.  And I’ll be missing my yobo immensely.  It really sucks being here without her.

So there you have it.  As far as I know everything I’ve written above is true and correct.  But then again, I saw this article in Time magazine that says less than 5 hours sleep leads to false memories.  So who knows?

The last supper

A final meal with friends Tom and Yuli at Don Valley

A final meal with friends Tom and Yuli at Don Valley

I’m fixin’ to head out to Incheon to catch my flight across the wide Pacific.  Sad to be making the trip alone, but Jee Yeun needs to stay and care for her mother.  I offered to stay and help but Jee Yeun will be taking her mom to the “countryside” for the next couple of weeks.  So, faced with being alone either way, I stuck with the plan and will return to the USA as scheduled.

Goodbye to you Korea!