That suits me just fine

Here I am in my birthday suit..

Here I am in my birthday suit..

I never expected that I’d ever be buying a new suit.  But a new job and new requirements conspired to make such a purchase inevitable.  I’ve learned the hard way not to talk about work here on this humble blog, but I guess it is safe to say I attended a meeting with the U.S. ambassador, to Korea, Mark Lippert, today.

You may recall that Mr. Lippert was attacked by a razor blade wielding assailant last year. As fate would have it, one of the attendees at today’s meeting was also present on the day Mr. Lippert was slashed.  According to this gentlemen, he was the third person to restrain the attacker.  By his account it was his foot that was placed on the throat of the slasher. You can see a video recreation at the link above if you so desire.

Anyway, no violence at today’s meeting thankfully.  Mr. Lippert was *ahem* very diplomatic during the meeting and there were really no surprises, which is the best possible outcome in affairs of this nature.  So I left pleased.

Rode over to the embassy with a 2-star general in one of those fancy cars, so that was a treat I suppose.  One thing I learned is that I need to get me some business cards made. It seems so 20th century but it was awkward during the introductions when I didn’t have a card to share.  Aw well, I’ve had worse occasions of a faux pas I suppose.  Next time I’ll be better prepared.

Here’s a random shot from my birthday that I rather like:

My Commie friend Choonae (right front) treated me, my drinking buddy Hae Young (left front) and my yoja chingu to a birthday.  Yes, I'm lucky.  Get over it.

My Commie friend Choonae (right front) treated me, my drinking buddy Hae Young (left front) and my yoja chingu to a birthday shot. Yes, I’m lucky. Get over it.

Tomorrow I fly to the Philippines.  I guess I should say we, because I’m bringing “sand to the beach”.  What the hell.  Might as well find out if Eun Oke can handle the lifestyle.

Anyway, it’s all good.  That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

 

The journey continues

Today I commenced my 62nd annual journey around the sun.  Wish me luck!

Last year's journey drew to a close with a surprise breakfast birthday party by my sneaky co-workers...

Last year’s journey drew to a close with a surprise breakfast birthday party by my sneaky co-workers…

As tradition dictates, I successfully blew out all the candles on my cake.

As tradition dictates, I successfully blew out all the candles on my cake.

I decreed that politeness dictated that I break my diet in the spirit of the occasion. There was no way I was saying no to pecan pie!

I decreed that politeness dictated that I break my diet in the spirit of the occasion. There was no way I was saying no to pecan pie!

Had to go on base to be fitted for a new suit I'm having made (I guess that makes it a birthday suit!). Eun Oke joined me on base and I took her to see my office. I must admit she looks better in the Director's chair than I do...

Had to go on base Saturday to be fitted for a new suit I’m having made (I guess that makes it a birthday suit!). Eun Oke joined me on that errand and I took her to see my office. I must admit she looks better in the Director’s chair than I do…

Eun Oke bought this nice shirt for my birthday...

Eun Oke bought this nice shirt for my birthday…

And I gifted myself with becoming debt free.

And I gifted myself with becoming debt free.

For the birthday meal I made samgyetang for the first time.

Slow cooked for 8 hours.

Slow cooked for 8 hours.

Eun Oke said it tasted better than her mother's. I hope that means it was good.

Eun Oke said it tasted better than her mother’s. I hope that means it was good.

Saturday night we went out to celebrate the B-day at Shenanigans.  I had good intentions to keep the alcohol intake at moderate levels.  But word got out about it being “my day” and all and people kept buying us shots.

...and things got a little bit blurry after that...

…and things got a little bit blurry after that…

We finished the night at Grand Ole Opry where Eun Oke added this money message to the collection. I asked her if I wasn't perfect and she said no, but you are "good enough". Thanks. I think.

We finished the night at Grand Ole Opry where Eun Oke added this money message to the collection. I asked her if I wasn’t perfect and she said no, but you are “good enough”. Thanks. I think.

All in all it was a special day.

Having company on the weekend has made it hard to get my walking in.  Barely managed 15,000 steps both days.  I’m going to have to buy Eun Oke some walking shoes soon…

 

Sexy-one!

Random songs appropriate for this last Saturday in August.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
But you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
And shorter of breath and one day closer to death

The longer I live the more I believe
You do have to give if you wanna receive.
There’s a time to listen, a time to talk.
And you might have to crawl even after you walk.
Had sure things blow up in my face,
Seen the longshot win the race.
Been knocked down by the slammin’ door.
Picked myself up and came back for more.

Life’s a dance, you learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don’t worry ’bout what you don’t know,
life’s a dance, you learn as you go.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.

White line fever, a sickness born
Down deep within my soul
White line fever, the years keep flyin’ by
Like the highline poles

The wrinkles in my forehead
Show the miles I’ve put behind me
They continue to remind how fast I’m growin’ old
Guess I’ll die with this fever in my soul

Every time I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way?
Everybody’s got their dues in life to pay

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

I ain’t as good as I once was
I got a few years on me now
But there was a time back in my prime

When I could really lay it down
And if you need some love tonight
Then I might have just enough
I ain’t as good as I once was
But I’m as good once as I ever was

 

Big bad John…

…gets domesticated.

Picking up where I left off:

Saturday night it was back in Itaewon. Had some samgyapsal with the nephew and girlfriend then went to East and West, the rock and roll bar above Grand Ole Opry.

Saturday night it was back in Itaewon. Had some samgyeopsal with the nephew and girlfriend then went to East and West, the rock and roll bar above Grand Ole Opry.

Speaking of Eun Oke, it was interesting how we met.  Basically she saw me on a friends Facebook and told him she was interested.  He conveyed that message to me and this being the 21st century and all, I looked her up on her Facebook page and liked what I saw. So maybe not a traditional blind date, but we have hit it off amazingly well.  She’s certainly not like any other Korean female I have known attitude-wise.  It’s early, I know.  But I’m looking forward to seeing her again.

Sunday morning breakfast for two,,,

Sunday morning breakfast for two,,,

This week it was chili in the crockpot.

This week it was chili in the crockpot.

I’d missed my Saturday tradition of climbing Namsan because I got a better offer.  Hey, exercise is exercise. Ahem.  Anyway, after saying a sad goodbye to Eun Oke I set about getting it done.

I hit the wall and kept on going...

I hit the wall and kept on going…

You're going down! Er, technically I was going up. Those fucking stairs...

You’re going down! Er, technically I was going up. Those fucking stairs…

Got back down the mountain, took a shower, then took an ass whuppin' in darts.

Got back down the mountain, took a shower, then took an ass whuppin’ in darts.

Today I took the long way home from work...just about 2 hours on the Han riverside....

Today I took the long way home from work…just about 2 hours on the Han riverside….

I'll let Kevin Kim tell you about how damn hot it's been...and I've got the sweat soaked shirt to prove it!

I’ll let Kevin Kim tell you about how damn hot it’s been…and I’ve got the sweat soaked shirt to prove it!

Changed out of my wet clothes and did the dishes...

Changed out of my wet clothes and did the dishes…

...the laundry...

…the laundry…

...and hung it up to dry.

…and hung it up to dry.

Having worked up an appetite, I threw some brats on the grill. They were delicious thank you very much. Two for dinner, two for tomorrow's lunch, and one for a co-worker who craves my brats..

Having worked up an appetite, I threw some brats on the grill. They were delicious thank you very much. Two for dinner, two for tomorrow’s lunch, and one for a co-worker who craves my brats..

Yes, yes I know.  Don’t hate me because I live such a damned exciting life.  It’s what I do.

This song actually came up on my youtube playlist while I walked at lunch.  My daddy used to sing it to me…

 

Free falling

What counts as a good night for me.

I invited Eun Oke to my place for dinner. It was great to finally have someone to cook for...

I invited Eun Oke to my place for dinner. It was great to finally have someone to cook for…

The ingredients. Chocolate, shrimp, ribeye steak, baby back ribs, baked potato, mixed vegetables, banana pudding, and of course ice cold beer.,

The ingredients. Chocolate, shrimp, ribeye steak, baby back ribs, baked potato, mixed vegetables, banana pudding, and of course ice cold beer.,

Eun Oke seemed pleased with the effort.

Eun Oke seemed pleased with the effort.

Afterwards I suggested an old-fashioned pub crawl–one drink in each bar until we could go no further…

First stop--Scrooge Pub.

First stop–Scrooge Pub.

Bar number 2--Dolce Vita.

Bar number 2–Dolce Vita.

Then on to my bar home Shenanigans.

Then on to my bar home Shenanigans.

Our fourth stop was Dillingers...

Our fourth stop was Dillingers…

The we moved on down the highway to Route 66.

The we moved on down the highway to Route 66.

By the time we got to our sixth bar, Sin Bin, things were getting a little blurry...

By the time we got to our sixth bar, Sin Bin, things were getting a little blurry…

We finished up at our 7th venue, Debut Bar. At least one of us was still on their feet...

We finished up at our 7th venue, Debut Bar. At least one of us was still on their feet…

I've got to hand it to Eun Oke, she's a real trooper. I insisted we walk back to my place which in hindsight might not have been my best idea of the night. But we made it. Poor girl is still passed out on the bed. And no, I won't share the picture I took of that!

I’ve got to hand it to Eun Oke, she’s a real trooper. I insisted we walk back to my place which in hindsight might not have been my best idea of the night. But we made it. Poor girl is still passed out on the bed. And no, I won’t share the picture I took of that!

To top it all off, Fitbit even awarded me a new badge!

date12

Life has its ups and downs to be sure, but I’m still in the game!

I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for awhile

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah I’m free, free fallin’

It’s all good

Work is already a pain in the ass.  But let’s not go there.

Let's just say I earned my celery today....

Let’s just say I earned my celery today….

Dart shirts arrived.

What the Bulls?

What the Bulls?

My Fitbit says I walked 157,877 steps last week. Or 75.44 miles if you prefer.  A new record.  Doing it in the heat and humidity was especially challenging.  Managed just under 25,000 today.

My resting heartbeat is consistently in the low 70s, so that’s good.  I got into the 140s climbing those damn stairs on Namsan, which I suppose is about right too (my max heart rate is 160).  No idea what happens if I exceed that.  Die perhaps?  Anyway, climbed 121 floors on the mountain, and 550 for the week.  That’s actually the one stat I don’t trust. Mainly because I can’t fathom how the fuck it knows when I’m climbing stairs.  Methinks it might be counting uphill as stairs.  Who knows?

The creepiest feature of the Fitbit is that it monitors my sleep.  For example, last week I averaged 5 hours 11 minutes of sleep.  I do best on at least 6 hours sleep.  But it also really gets into the weeds on sleep stuff.  Last night I apparently fell asleep at 12:02 and woke up at 5:27.  During that 4 hours and 43 minutes I was restless 15 times equating to 42 minutes.  No idea what I’m supposed to do with that information however.

What’s gonna happen next?

Who knows? One day at a time. One day at a time.

Who knows? One day at a time. One day at a time.

 

 

 

Poco a poco

Little by little I’m tearing down the old life and working towards finding a new future.  I’m struck by the fact that it seems like I’ve come full circle.  In 2010 I was in the job that I’ve recently re-acquired.  I was looking to retire in the Philippines in September of that year.  Then Jee Yeun convinced me that she was a better option.  I believed in her.  Turns out a life with me was not a happy one for her.  And so she turned her back on all I had worked to build for us.

Which has pretty much left me with nada y nada.  Nothing to do but move forward from here and try to get it right this time.  Those six years I invested in the woman who supposedly loved me can never be recouped though.  I say this tonight because I think I’m finally over it.  I’m back to where I was, and perhaps I’ll be smarter this go round.  We’ll see.

So, I am flying to Olongopo in the PI on 1 September.  I’m going to try and get a feel for whether that is someplace I could make home for myself and perhaps find some peace and satisfaction in whatever remains of my so-called life.  I wish I didn’t care but I can’t seem to help myself.  And so it goes.

(yes, I am blogging while drunk.  sue me.)

On Friday I called an "all hands" meeting and laid out my vision for the future and my expectations from the staff. Which is that they continue to be the amazing professionals that they are and make me look good in the process. As motivation, I bought them pizza and chicken. That's my leadership style..

On Friday I called an “all hands” meeting and laid out my vision for the future and my expectations from the staff. Which is that they continue to be the amazing professionals that they are and make me look good in the process. As motivation, I bought them pizza and chicken. That’s my leadership style..

In all seriousness I am proud to be associated with these folks. My work family gives me a reason to get up and engage every morning. Otherwise I might just revert to my natural state of being a worthless drunk. Shuddup!

In all seriousness I am proud to be associated with these folks. My work family gives me a reason to get up and engage every morning. Otherwise I might just revert to my natural state of being a worthless drunk. Shuddup!

With rank comes privileges...

With rank comes privileges…

Pm Saturday I took these stairs to the top of Namsan. It was not a pleasant experience.

On Saturday I took these stairs to the top of Namsan. It was not a pleasant experience.

I feel worse than I look as improbable as that may seem...

I feel worse than I look as improbable as that may seem…

But i got 'er done!

But i got ‘er done!

This morning I prepared some Mississippi roast beef. Tweaked the recipe some and IMO got a juicier and more flavorable result.

This morning I prepared some Mississippi roast beef. Tweaked the recipe some and IMO got a juicier and more flavorful result.

And then I spent almost 4 hours on the river. Hardly got rained on at all.

And then I spent almost 4 hours on the river. Hardly got rained on at all.

You’d have to be crazy to date a guy like me.  But this weekend I met a gal who was willing to give it a go.  Friday went so well she came back for more on Saturday.  And it was nice to be reminded that maybe, just maybe, I’ll find my way back.  Thanks for that Eun Oke!

Mientras estás vivo hay esperanza

 

Doctor my eyes

Went for my followup visit with the ophthalmologist today.  The blister is still there, albeit smaller.  It’s also pain free.  Doc suggested I continue with the eye drops and it should go away in another week or two.  That’s what I think too.

Also picked up my repaired Galaxy J7 phone today.  That walk in the rain only cost me W145,000.  So far.  I need to get a new screen protector installed as well.  And of course I lost all my apps.  Not a problem re-downloading but I hated to see all that walking history disappeared.  Oh well, the Fitbit will cover me from here on out I suppose.

I inexplicably awoke at 0300 this morning.  Tried to force some more sleep out of my body but finally gave up a little after four.  On the bright side I got my laundry out of the way, did the dishes, and fried up some eggs.  Then I hoofed it over to Soonchunhwang hospital for the above mentioned appointment.

I also awoke to a contract offer on the house.  Printed it out, signed it up, scanned it, and emailed it back to the realtor.  Here’s hoping the deal goes through.  To facilitate that I went to the legal office on base and got a power of attorney so the daughter could handle the closing ceremony on my behalf.

Oh, and I also managed to do some work at work.

Right now I am fixin’ to dive into these:

Table for one please.  As usual.

Table for one please. As usual.

Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand

I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

It’s deja vu all over again

Yesterday was my first day back in my new/old job.

My desk, just the way I left it over 6 years ago.  Well, neater now but give me a little time...

My desk, just the way I left it over 6 years ago. Well, neater now but give me a little time…

The view from the desk.  As Army offices go, I'd say mine is worthy...

The view from the desk. As Army offices go, I’d say mine is worthy…

And here I am hardly working.

And here I am hardly working.

In other news, the kids report a successful yard sale (defined as over $900 in purchases) which pretty much completes the sell-off of my broken dreams.  Whatever didn’t sell is going to charity.

And I got an offer on the house which I’m accepting.  Still losing my ass but not to the extent I expected.  I’d rather go for a quick sale than to pursue recouping more of my investment in a future that never came.

And that’s the way it is.

Turn it on, turn it up, turn me loose

In a bit, I’ll be fit.  Or so the folks at Fitbit would have me believe.

My daughter loves her Fitbit and suggested I would too.  So I picked one up at the PX.  Didn't realize they came in sizes and I inadvertently grabbed a small.  Which just barely fit around my wrist.   So I exchanged it the next day for the large size which is much more comfortable.  Then the battery gave out half-way through my walk and I was "fit" to be tied.  Gave it a full charging overnight and today it carried me through my entire walk.  Actually, the battery is supposed to be good for 5 days of "normal" use.  Hope so.  It's still showing "fully charged" so far.

My daughter loves her Fitbit and suggested I would too. So I picked one up at the PX. Didn’t realize they came in sizes and I inadvertently grabbed a small. Which just barely fit around my wrist. So I exchanged it the next day for the large size which is much more comfortable. Then the battery gave out half-way through my walk and I was “fit” to be tied. Gave it a full charging overnight and today it carried me through my entire walk. Actually, the battery is supposed to be good for 5 days of “normal” use. Hope so. It’s still showing “fully charged” so far.

The Fitbit has some nice features.  In addition to steps, miles, time-elapsed, and calories (all functions my phone app has) the Fitbit measures stairs as well as heart rate.  I’m happy to report my resting heart rate is usually in the 70s (although at this precise moment it is 83) and anything under 100 is considered normal.  I checked on the internet and my maximum heart rate should be 160 (220 minus your age is what I read).  When I finished climbing the steps to the top of Namsan yesterday my heart rate was 147, so I guess that’s about right too.

Another thing Fitbit does is send you these motivational badges for achievement.  Like my recognition for having some ups and downs on Namsan.  And according to my Fitbit from the bottom to the top of Namsan by stairs is the equivalent of 83 floors...

Another thing Fitbit does is send you these motivational badges for achievement. Like my recognition for having some ups and downs on Namsan. This is the Roller coaster badge for exceeding 125 floors. And according to my Fitbit from the bottom to the top of Namsan by stairs is the equivalent of 83 floors…

This is the "Classics" badge for exceeding 25,000 steps which I received for my Han river stroll today.  Big whoop, I did over 30,000 yesterday.

This is the “Classics” badge for exceeding 25,000 steps which I received for my Han river stroll today. Big whoop, I did over 30,000 yesterday.

Anyway, it’s not a bad tool and given my misfortune with phones it should be a more reliable resource for keeping track of my highway pounding rituals.

Friday night I played in a dart tourney in honor of Mat’s birthday.

Drew his wife as my partner and we pulled out a second place finish!

Drew his wife as my partner and we pulled out a second place finish!

The reward for my Saturday climb…

Bacon cheeseburgers baby!

Bacon cheeseburgers baby!

I ended the night at the Grand Ole Opry.

Country style!

Country style!

There were spinning some fine country tunes, but not the one I was really feeling…

Up early this morning.  Laundry and cooking.  And this is what I cooked.

Two chickens in the pot are better than one in the bush...

Two chickens in the pot are better than one in the bush…

Falling right off the damn bone...tasty!

Falling right off the damn bone…tasty!

Facebook shared this memory today.  I’d like to sit down and have a long talk with that young man…

Wife number 1 and my two sweet kids...

Wife number 1 and my two sweet kids…

And one more weekend is in books.

Well I’m back again for another night
Of trying to break free from this sadness that I can’t lay to rest
This old honky-tonk sure does feel like home
And the music with the laughter seem to soothe my loneliness

Turn it on, turn it up, turn me loose
From the memory that’s driving me lonely, crazy and blue
It helps me forget her, so the louder the better
Hey mister turn it on, turn it up, turn me loose

 

 

Things that suck

So, apparently my phone did not survive yesterday’s walk in the rain.  I’m told that W170,000 will fix the problem.  Meanwhile I’ll use my not as nice but sufficient back up phone.

Took a 12-4 beating tonight in darts.  I was playing one of the top players and actually threw decent darts.  Decent doesn’t beat quality though.  Oh well.

Otherwise, everything is just peachy with me.

Take it to the limit (part deux)

If Namsan were the world and I was a Spanish explorer my name might just be Magellan. I circumnavigated that bitch of a mountain on Saturday.  And that required some creative walking since I had to find ways to work around the tunnels.  Nothing like a little adventure in life!

Bring it on Lapu Lapu!

Bring it on Lapu Lapu!

You’ll note I finally had the good sense to buy a headband.  Looks dorky but it keeps the sweat out of my eyes.  I’m convinced it was the sweat that caused the stye.

One of my tunnel detours put me smack dab in the middle of the Dongguk University campus...

One of my tunnel detours put me smack dab in the middle of the Dongguk University campus…

...where I unexpectedly encountered a herd of Republicans...

…where I unexpectedly encountered a herd of Republicans…

Came home after 3 hot hours and had a spare rib lunch.

Came home after 3 hot hours and had a spare rib lunch.

Saturday night I met up with Sam, an old pal visiting from the UK.  Had a nice chat about Brexit (he was against it, and I of course favored it) then threw some darts.  Sam was still on British time so he made it an early evening.  I must have stopped by Debut bar on the way home.  I don’t actually remember getting home.  I woke up on the floor.  And later found a receipt in my pocket from Debut for W135,000,  I hope I had a good time!

Fixed this fine breakfast Sunday morning and set out on my river walk...

Fixed this fine breakfast Sunday morning and set out on my river walk…

I was bound and determined to go further west than I ever had before.  It was not a good plan for an extraordinarily hot day.  It took me two hours to reach my destination bridge which I feared might wind up being a bridge too far.  I was getting lightheaded and although I didn’t hallucinate like Kevin Kim, I did imagine myself having a heat stroke.  I seriously considered taking a taxi home, but then decided fuck that, I’ll just plop down at a convenience store and drink copious amounts of water.  And so I did.

The view from the bridge over the river Han.

The view from the bridge over the river Han.  At least the last bridge over the Han that I made it to…

I was trying to capture that huge ass Taegukgi flapping in the wind. My stunted skill with a camera (and lack of patience) doomed me to settle for this...

I was trying to capture that huge ass Taegukgi flapping in the wind. My stunted skill with a camera (and lack of patience) doomed me to settle for this…

Anyway, four hours and four bottles of water later I was safely home enjoying the pulled pork bbq out of the crock pot. I went out later and brought my step count to just over 30,000 for the day...

Anyway, four hours and four bottles of water later I was safely home enjoying the pulled pork bbq out of the crock pot. I went out later and brought my step count to just over 30,000 for the day…

Monday night was dart league, and me and my What the Bulls? teammates took home a 20-7 victory over our sister team from Shenanigans...

Monday night was dart league, and me and my What the Bulls? teammates took home a 20-7 victory over our sister team from Shenanigans…

Today was a busy but satisfying day.  For one thing I purchased an airline ticket for a planned Labor Day adventure outside the friendly confines of Korea.  More on that another day.  Had a refreshing walk into work, a sweaty lunchtime walk, and then I got the bright idea to stroll home via the Han river.

It started out pleasant enough...

It started out pleasant enough…

And then almost out of nowhere the sky opened up and dumped some of the hardest rainfall I’ve encountered in quite a while. Not to mention lots of thunder and lightning. Seeing as how I was on the river sans umbrella, there was nothing to be done but walk on through it.  For an hour and a half.

I took this photo under the bridge that adorns my masthead. And yes, my spirits were somewhat dampened.

I took this photo under the bridge that adorns my masthead. And yes, my spirits were somewhat dampened.

Still, not bad for a weekday...

Still, not bad for a weekday…

And finally (the words all my readers doubtlessly look forward to seeing), I got some news today.  It seems I’ve arrived back to where I ended.

Yes, I've been promoted to the job I retired from over 5 years ago.

Yes, I’ve been promoted to the job I retired from over 5 years ago.

Well, I don’t blog about work these days so I’ll just say I expect it to be challenging, necessary, and well-compensated.  The plan is for me to lead us through the transformation and relocation to Pyeongteak.  I’ve promised to stay on through the move and several months after, then I will re-retire.  And then what?  Stay tuned.

I celebrated my good(?) fortune with a rib-eye steak and green beans.

I celebrated my good(?) fortune with a rib-eye steak and green beans.

And now it’s time for the periodic legal disclaimer:

All thoughts, opinions, and commentary expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone.  My views are not sanctioned (or necessarily condoned) by my employer.  I blog on my own time, from my own computer, strictly in my personal capacity.  I do not speak for the government I serve (and lately they don’t speak for me!) Thank you for your support.

You can spend all your time making money
You can spend all your love making time
If it all fell to pieces tomorrow
Would you still be mine?

And when you’re looking for your freedom
(Nobody seems to care)
And you can’t find the door
(Can’t find it anywhere)
When there’s nothing to believe in
Still you’re coming back, you’re running back
You’re coming back for more

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more time

 

 

 

Take it to the limit

Ah, time for my Sunday night reflections on the weekend that passed way to quickly.

My leather couch and love seat sold for $830.  About 1/3 of what I paid for them, but no complaints.  Daughter-in-law informs me that the guy who bought them intends to sleep on the couch.  It is in fact big and comfortable.  And great for sleeping.

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

Anyway, the reason the guy needs to sleep on a couch is that his wife of 28 years left him and now he can’t bear to sleep in their bedroom.  I feel for the guy.  Hope the couch is luckier for him than it was for me.

The big yard sale is next weekend where the remnants of my shattered life will be sold off piece by piece.  I’ll be glad when it is over.  I looked at pictures of my house and stuff tonight and it jut makes me sick to think about it.  Ah well, what’s done is done.

Friday was sort of the usual.  Started at Shenanigans where I ran into Mark, a contractor on base and more importantly, a reader of my blog.  It was good catching up with him again. Left Shenanigans and enjoyed a Thai massage.  I guess I’m a regular now (about once a month) and the masseuse was comfortable enough to sing to me in Thai while she went about her work.  It was quite lovely actually..

I left relaxed and thought about checking out some new bars. Went to King Pub which I had been led to believe is where the Filipinos hang out.  The staff was all white women (Russians?) and the customers were all Korean.  One drink and out of there.  Then I started climbing the stairs to Lollipop.  But the rainbow flag on the wall made me think it was a gay bar.  Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not the way I roll.  Yet.  So I played it safe and went to East-West, the rock-n-roll version Grand Ole Opry.  In fact, it is right upstairs from the Opry.  Ran into a couple of folks I know and was made to feel right at home.  So it was a good time.  Or as good as it gets for me anyway.

(To be continued, I’m tired)

 

 

Stymied

Woke up yesterday to find a small blister on my lower eyelid.  This morning it was larger and when I touched it with a kleenex it oozed some violet-colored puss.  Well, damn. Looks like I’ve welcomed a stye into my life.

I’d considered just letting it run its course but my boss suggested I should see a doc and get it looked at prior to the weekend.  She even called and made me an appointment with an eye doctor at Soonchunhwang hospital.  So this afternoon I found myself gazing into the eyes of the lovely Dr. Son.  Her diagnosis matched mine, I do indeed have a stye on my eye.  She prescribed some antibiotic eye drops, some steroid eye drops, and a cream containing antibiotics and steroids.  We share the hope that these wonder drugs will clear up the problem prior to my next appointment on 9 August because otherwise she’ll have to perform a procedure that included the word “scraping”.  We’ll see.

The latest editions to my medicine cabinet.

The latest editions to my medicine cabinet.

I found some encouraging words on the walk home from the hospital. At least I felt encouraged enough to take a photo...

I found some encouraging words on the walk home from the hospital. At least I felt encouraged enough to take a photo…

Enjoyed these sunflowers on my sunny walk into work this morning...

Enjoyed these sunflowers on my sunny walk into work this morning…

...and paused to reflect on the anniversary of the armistice as I passed by the Korean War museum.

…and paused to reflect on the anniversary of the armistice as I passed by the Korean War museum.

What else?  I’m not sure if my loneliness problem is an inability to get past no or a failure to get to yes.  Reckon I’ll have to do some research on that topic.

Yes?

Yes?

or no?

or no?

In the end I suppose it doesn’t matter…

Lonely and winsome
Calling for someone
Living right now
Something is shallow
Ugly and hollow
Doesn’t even allow
You to want to know how you might
Live for the living and
Give for the giving. 
Moment by moment
One day at a time
It doesn’t matter
It’s nothin’ but dreamin’ any how

 

 

Carefree highway

So, where did we leave off?

Really enjoyed the dinner party at the Cassady's. Tom is an Army chef and his pulled pork is the BEST I've ever eaten. And I've eaten a lot of pulled pork in my time...

Really enjoyed the dinner party at the Cassady’s. Tom is an Army chef and his pulled pork is the BEST I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot of pulled pork in my time…

After the meal us menfolk retired to the gaming room and entertained ourselves with a darts match. Me and my partner Tom R. eeked out a victory...

After the meal us menfolk retired to the gaming room and entertained ourselves with a darts match. Me and my partner Tom R. eeked out a victory…  Gawd, will I ever lose that fucking belly?

The Rago’s were also in attendance.  Bill and June recently returned to Korea after a couple of years in Vietnam.  At first Bill didn’t even recognize the clean shaven and somewhat lighter version of myself.  Anyway, it was nice to have a non-bar related social event on the calendar.

Speaking of bars, after I left the party I hoofed it over to Grand Ole Opry where I enjoyed some icy cold gin and sodas with my nephew Justin.  I’d had several beers at the party so it didn’t take much gin to get me drunk relaxed.  We sat at the bar and there was this Korean couple sitting at the table nearest us.  The female portion of the couple was only marginally attractive but since she was in my line of sight I looked anyway.  I could have sworn I caught her looking back a couple of times too.  Then they got up to dance and I swear they did the two-step every bit as good as the country folk in the honky tonks I used to frequent in Oklahoma.  At the conclusion of the dance I gave them a round of applause and she gave me a big smile.  They danced again later and I found watching them entertaining so I had a couple of drinks sent over to their table as a reward.  They both seemed pleased.  She thanked me in English, so there’s that.

I’m not sure what the status of their relationship was, for all I know they were married. But, she looked back more than once!  Justin even noticed so that is not just my drunken imagination.  When she got up to use the ladies room I had half a mind to follow her to see if she might be interested in exchanging phone numbers.  Of course, the sane half of my mind talked me out of it, as did Justin.

Justin did teach me to say “난 여자친구가 없어”, but I haven’t found an opportunity to use it.  And some lady friends have suggested it would probably be better if I didn’t.  Ah well.

Did my river walk on Sunday, about 3.5 hours all told.  Not sure if it was the heat or what, but it was a tough hike.  I was feeling light headed by the time I got home.  Had a bowl of chili from the crock pot and took a nap.  Feeling restored, I ventured to Shenanigans for some liquid refreshment.  Made it an early night though, as I had to report to Soonchunhwang hospital for some blood work early Monday morning.

Last night was the first match of the season in the Seoul International Dart League.

I reckon we did alright. 23-4. I contributed a 6-0 performance and managed to throw a 9-mark (2 triple 20s and a trip 19) despite still not being on my game. Of course, I haven't been practicing but I prefer to blame it on the weight loss affecting my center of gravity causing me to be unbalanced when I throw. It's probably one of those.

I reckon we did alright. 23-4. I contributed a 6-0 performance and managed to throw a 9-mark (2 triple 20s and a trip 19) despite still not being on my game. Of course, I haven’t been practicing but I prefer to blame it on the weight loss affecting my center of gravity causing me to be unbalanced when I throw. It’s probably one of those.

This morning I had a doctor appointment with my cardiologist.  All the markers continue to show improvement.  I’m technically being treated for hypertension.  My previous appointment I had blood pressure of 150/90 which was a huge improvement.  Today I was at 140/80 which puts me in the borderline high category.  I’m liking my trend line.  The doc was astounded when I told him I’d lost 26 kgs thus far.  In fact, he even shook my hand. Then he gave me a refill on my prescription and said he’d see me in three months. Hopefully he’ll be seeing even less of me by then.

The walk to the hospital took about 25 minutes.  I walked back home, changed out of my sweaty shirt, and walked the long way to work, arriving sweaty enough that the Deputy Director asked if that was the color of my shirt or was I wet?  I responded “both”.

In the afternoon the staff ventured out to Myeongdong for a luncheon at a restaurant called “Under the Sea”.  I’m not big on buffet style dining, but this place put out a good spread. The occasion for our visit was to bid farewell to our Director who departs for a Pentagon job next week.

The staff...

The staff…

The boss.

The boss.

Still haven’t heard yet who his replacement will be.  Chances are I know him.

I used to be indecisive.  Now, I’m not sure.

You know, if the elevator is old and broken they should do more than just slap a sign on it. Why not fix or replace it?

You know, if the elevator is old and broken they should do more than just slap a sign on it. Why not fix or replace it?

I decided to walk back home from Myeongdong but wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it. Once I exited the restaurant and got my bearings I noticed a familiar building that I often pass during my Namsan adventures.  But how do I get there?  Walked in the general direction and sure enough, there was my old friend.

But getting from here to there was not as easy as I anticipated.

But getting from here to there was not as easy as I anticipated.

So, I figured going up was a good choice. Except this up led to a dead end. So I went down again.

So, I figured going up was a good choice. Except this up led to a dead end. So I went down again.

Regardless, in a roundabout fashion I found my way.  And something unusual happened along the road.  Now, when I pass by a female version of the human race I’ve noted that they studiously avoid making any eye contact with me.  I guess that is both normal and understandable.  But today an attractive gal gave me the slightest glance as I passed by. Didn’t turn her head or smile or anything, but made a brief moment’s eye contact.  As pathetic as I might be, that was milestone and I felt pleased.  So pleased in fact that after about 20 more paces I turned around to look back at her as she moved on down the road.  And I’ll be damned if at that exact moment she didn’t turn around to look at ME!

Well, I suppose a braver man may have turned around and approached her.  But that man was not me.  Besides, I was soaking wet with sweat.  Anyway, after being virtually invisible to the fairer sex for so damn long, just getting “a look” makes me feel good about myself.  Baby steps.

Not a bad day's work. Although I'll probably venture out for a bit later tonight just to move the marker past the 20,000 barrier...

Not a bad day’s work. Although I’ll probably venture out for a bit later tonight just to move the marker past the 20,000 barrier…

Technically, my weekly goal is 125,000 steps (15,000 on weekdays, 25,000 on Saturday and Sunday). I managed to exceed that last week.

Technically, my weekly goal is 125,000 steps (15,000 on weekdays, 25,000 on Saturday and Sunday). I managed to exceed that last week.

So that’s a lot of time on the highway.  I’m not what you could call carefree when I walk, but I do try not care.

Turning back the pages to the times I love best
I wonder if she’ll ever do the same
Now the thing that I call living is just being satisfied
With knowing I got no one left to blame

Carefree highway, got to see you my old flame
Carefree highway, you seen better days
The morning after blues from my head down to my shoes
Carefree highway, let me slip away, slip away on you

 

 

Comfortably numb

I never saw such a place! Uncle Cho's entreaty to come inside for a taste of his sausage was ignored however...

I never saw such a place! Uncle Cho’s entreaty to come inside for a taste of his sausage was ignored however…

So here are some random photos from my so-called life this week…

Attended the Change of Command ceremony for the Korean Service Corps commander...

Attended the Change of Command ceremony for the Korean Service Corps commander…

I'd worked closely with the outgoing commander on a couple of cases this year. He was appreciative enough to call out our office as having done a "fine job" during his speech...

I’d worked closely with the outgoing commander on a couple of cases this year. He was appreciative enough to call out our office as having done a “fine job” during his speech…

I'm a sucker for pomp and circumstance...

I’m a sucker for pomp and circumstance…

My fellow office mates who attended the event...

My fellow office mates who attended the event…

My commie friend Choonae. Not surprisingly, there is next to nothing we agree on politically. She is vehemently opposed to THAAD deployment and posted on facebook that she "hates the U.S. Army". I took some offense to that, noting that over 54,000 young Americans had sacrificed their lives to give her the freedom to hat the U.S. Army. She did reassure that it was the Army she hated not the people who work there. When I pressed her as to why she was opposed to a purely defensive anti-ballistic missile deployment, she said it makes China angry and that China is more important to Korea than the USA. I laughed and told her that that makes sense. Korea has been China's bitch throughout history...

My commie friend Choonae. Not surprisingly, there is next to nothing we agree on politically. She is vehemently opposed to THAAD deployment and posted on facebook that she “hates the U.S. Army”. I took some offense to that, noting that over 54,000 young Americans had sacrificed their lives to give her the freedom to hate the U.S. Army. She did reassure that it was the Army she hated not the people who work there. When I pressed her as to why she was opposed to a purely defensive anti-ballistic missile deployment, she said it makes China angry and that China is more important to Korea than the USA. I laughed and told her that that makes sense. Korea has been China’s bitch throughout history…

Not sure why I even bother to stay engaged...

Not sure why I even bother to stay engaged…

I guess I just can't help caring...

I guess I just can’t help caring…

Thank God for chemistry though...

Thank God for chemistry though…

Thursday night we did a farewell event for my Army buddy Steve who will be departing Korea for his next assignment soon. We drank, we ate, and then we drank a little more. Got him back on base before the 0100 curfew so it's all good. I was floored when I got home.

Thursday night we did a farewell event for my Army buddy Steve who will be departing Korea for his next assignment soon. We drank, we ate, and then we drank a little more. Got him back on base before the 0100 curfew so it’s all good. I was floored when I got home.

Fortunately I had the foresight to take Friday off. Despite the stifling heat, I spent some time on Namsan...

Fortunately I had the foresight to take Friday off. Despite the stifling heat, I spent some time on Namsan…

Objects in the photo are more distant than they appear...

Objects in the photo are more distant than they appear…

One step at a time gets the job done...

One step at a time gets the job done…

And I came back for more today...

And I came back for more today…

Tonight I’ll be changing things up by attending a dinner party at the Cassady’s house.  The Randolph’s and Rago’s will also be there.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve received such an invite to a couple’s centric event.  I guess the failure of my marriage makes folks uncomfortable.  Hell, it makes ME uncomfortable!  Anyway, I’m bringing banana pudding.

And now you know everything I do.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb.

Wow, get a look at that rack!

No, not that rack...

No, not that rack…

...this one!  Baby back ribs for supper tonight baby!  And lunchee tomorrow...

…this one! Baby back ribs for supper tonight baby! And lunchee tomorrow…

In other news, my kids are busy dismantling my American life.  Yard sale scheduled for August 6.  And meanwhile on Craigslist:

sellout1 sellout2 sellout3 sellout4 sellout5

Listed at less than half of what I paid, who knows what the market will bear.

I just need to be done with it.  It’s a sad reminder of what was, what could have been, and what will never be.

And that as they say “is life”.