A visit from Sydney

So we’ve been occupying our time babysitting granddaughter Sydney while her parents enjoy a Bahamian cruise.  She’s been a joy so far.  Only 9 months old but she is easily entertained and sleeps through the night.  The only downside I suppose is I’m watching a lot of Nick Junior on TV.  But hey, it’s a chance to relearn all those life lessons I’ve forgotten (or ignored).

Anyway, as a proud grandpa (aka “Papa John”) indulge me a few photographs of my sweet little girl:


Beating the notorious South Carolina summer heat in her very own redneck swimming pool.


She caught a whiff of Jee Yeun cooking up something Korean and crawled into the kitchen for a closer look.  No doubt she’ll be eating kimchi soon.


Who, me?

Interstate 60

I took a little trip down Interstate 60 this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Oh, and I was riding my couch the whole way.

Yes, as surely you have guessed by now, I’m talking about the movie, not the highway.  Which doesn’t exist.  Well, the movie exists, but there’s no I-60.

The film is from 2002 but I’d never heard of it.  I’ve always enjoyed road trips and movies about road trips are maybe the next best thing.  Although actually now that I think about it, many movies in this genre are notoriously bad.  But Interstate 60 has Gary Oldman and he’s almost always good.  Plus, this one has a surreal alternative universe vibe going that keeps it interesting.

I enjoyed it anyway.  Maybe you will too.

Cremains of the day


It’s Father’s Day so of course I’m remembering dad.

Home more than a week now and still adjusting to my American life.  For example, in Korea I stayed up until 2 a.m. and slept until 10.  Now, I sleep at 10 p.m. and wake up at 6.  I guess 8 hours is 8 hours, but I seem more tired these days.

Here’s what has been happening since my return:

The house was still standing.  All the plants I planted last year are dead.  All the weeds Jee Yeun pulled grew back.

At some point during my absence the GFCI in the garage tripped.  Which shut down the refrigerator/freezer in the garage.  Ever smelled really rotten fish?  Not pleasant at all.


Grocery shopping.  I confess I do enjoy the quantity of selection of foods I really like at my local Publix supermarket.  Seven bucks for a huge watermelon put a smile on my face.  I paid W20,000 for melons 1/3 this size in Korea.

And Jee Yeun was similarly happy shopping at the Korean market.


Made a pulled pork bbq dinner for the kids.

Played and won at darts.

Caught up on A LOT of TV shows, including watching both seasons of Game of Thrones.  Still have a shitload of stuff in the queue.


Started pulling the “additional documentation” requested by the Immigration Service together.  This included getting Jee Yeun’s family documents translated and printing a boatload of photos from Facebook to demonstrate the long term nature of our relationship.  Uncle Sam is such a worry-wort.  Anyway, should have everything ready to mail next week.


Spent time with the newest grandchild, Sydney.  She likes her watermelon just like granddad.

Paid my property taxes.  Which were due in March.  And which I tried to pay before I left in February, but the assessment “wasn’t ready”.  So, I got socked with penalty and interest fees.


Watched it rain for a couple of days.  And got the oil changed in the car.

And I picked up dad’s “cremains” from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.  It was a strange feeling carrying what’s left of dad home in a box.


Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I’ll fly away…

Not in the permanent sense that Allison Krause sings about.  At least I hope not.  But it’s back to the USA for me and my sweetie.  My kids and grand kids are awaiting our return.  And I reckon my lawn is going to need a good mowing after all these months.

It’s always sad to leave my Korean home.  I had some good time this trip, that’s for sure.  But truth be told, I’m tired and it will be good to rest and relax soaking that smooth, slow Southern lifestyle for awhile.

I finally heard something from the United States Customs and Immigration Service regarding Jee Yeun’s fiancee visa.  A cryptic email saying they had sent me a letter requesting “additional documentation”.  It’s frustrating that I waited six months for that piece of news.  Well, I’ll sort it all when I get home.

I expect to be back here in Korea sometime in the fall.  Unless I have the misfortune of flying away in the sense of the song.  But I’m counting on another 20 years or so in this life, so don’t hold your breath!

Blogging will continue from the USA.  Who knows, I might even have something interesting to say.  Hey, it could happen!


We always carry a suitcase of kimchi home with us.  Makes me nervous going through customs.  I always declare it and they’ve never said anything.  But if the were to confiscate Jee Yeun’s mother’s kimchi, well, it wouldn’t be pretty.


Had my last Korean BBQ last night with the in-laws and my nephew Justin who is here teaching English. Dwaegi galbi, of course!

We are the champions…

…and we kept on fighting till the end…

Hell, you know the rest.

A classic battle tonight against the boys from Scrooge Pub.  We were tied 6-6 after the singles.  We were tied 9-9 after the first round of doubles play.  Scrooge went 2-1 in the next doubles match to go up 11-10 (13 legs required to win the game).  Against all odds,  Greg and I took the next doubles match 3-0 (with Greg hitting a sweet 50 out) to secure the championship for Dolce Vita’s proud Ride it In team.

It was an honor playing with Jacob, Greg, Cory and Bridget.  Special kudos to Bridget, our fearless Captain, who kept us focused on victory.

Great job everyone!

updated to correct my doubles partner’s name.  I’m guilty of blogging while drunk!  Sorry, Greg!