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?
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.
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.
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…
…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.
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
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… 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.
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.
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?
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.
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…
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
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…
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 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…
I guess I just can’t help caring…
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.
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…
One step at a time gets the job done…
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.
Haven’t seen the sun in two damn days but that didn’t stop me.
With my head in the clouds and the rain on my back…
…Saturday’s objective was achieved.
The city below me.
No rain today at least which made the river walk quite pleasant.
The obligatory shot of the oddly familiar bridge.
I actually went the opposite direction this morning. Crossed the Han at the Banpo bridge and walked to this one.
Looking back on where I’ve been. Doing that a lot of late it seems.
Walked back through Seoul Forest and exited through “the 6th Gate”. Good to know.
I did manage to avoid getting into any “real shit” this weekend…
Played singles league dart matches Friday night (won 9-7) and last night (winning 10-6). Another match on tap for this afternoon.
After darts last night I walked on over to Grand Ole Opry for my country music fix. Got home in fair condition, although I was technically floored. By choice though, so I don’t think you can hold that one against me.
Today’s weigh in has me at 214.2, down 1.3 pounds from last week and an even 55 pounds lost overall. Well, 55 isn’t an even number, but you know what I mean.
Lost the belly (mostly) and the wife. Only sad about the one though.
Speaking of the belly, a friend was telling my about mesotherapy. Apparently, you get these injections into the fatty parts of your body and it supposedly breaks down the fat cells like magic. My friend swears by it. I was thinking that may be the answer for me, but the more I read about it and some of the side effects I’m like “meh, I’ll just keep doing it the old fashioned way.” We’ll see.
I’m a thousand miles from nowhere Time don’t matter to me ‘Cause I’m a thousand miles from nowhere And there’s no place I want to be
I got heartaches in my pocket I got echoes in my head And all that I keep hearing Are the cruel, cruel things that you said
Got floored on Friday night. And again on Saturday night. What’s up with that?
Still had the energy to climb a mountain though…
You gotta do what you gotta do…
By the time I got to the top I was drenched…
Much more pleasant on my way back down. A shady trail on a hot summer’s day is like the ice in your tea.
Drank hard on Saturday night, mostly at the Grand Ole Opry. But I was up early this morning figuring on beating the heat. No dice. I was a sweaty mess long before reaching the riverside.
The return walk brought me to the oddly familiar Dongjak bridge…
And at the top of the stairs leading up from the river walk, I discovered a pretty nice cafe featuring excellent river views…
So I took advantage of the opportunity and re-hydrated with a refreshing “citrus tea”.
Got home and did some chores. Then took a nap. Then headed out for my season opening Seoul Sunday Singles League dart match.
15-1. I’d call that a fair start to the season.
Played at Shenanigans where the friendly staff did their usual fine job at getting me inebriated.
Had a little incident in the bar tonight with some rude drunks with British accents. They were being dickish all night but we did our best to ignore them. One of the dickheads was obviously looking for trouble, but us regulars outnumbered them and nipped that shit in the bud. Well, until the biggest dick among them started harassing the bar staff. Alex, my dart opponent today, is a big guy. And when the jerk started running off at the mouth with bartender Sonya, Alex politely asked the punk to leave the bar. And by politely I mean physically removed him. Just outside the door (and at the top of the stairs) the drunk guy started mouthing off to Alex. Not a good move. Alex picked him up by the throat and held him firmly against the wall. It was pretty funny in a way, because the guy’s tongue was hanging out of his mouth like a cartoon character. I told him “dude, you better just walk down those stairs or else you are liable to be flying down them.” About this time one of the asshole’s comrades tried to join the fray. Me and another John blocked him from getting through the door. A little pushing and shoving was as physical as it got for me. I guess even drunks have a sense of self-preservation, because they all exited the scene without further incident. And justice prevails in Itaewon!
What else? Well, I had a pretty good walking week.
Except for Tuesday when the rains *ahem* put a damper on things.
And I walked my ass off today as well. Sure do wish I could walk my belly off…
Tried a new crockpot recipe today.
Pork chops. Tasty and moist, but a little bland for my liking. Next time I’ll have to get creative with some seasonings…
My strawberry-banana smoothie for dessert was most excellent however…
Scale was kind to me today. Weighed in at 215.5. Down 1.8 pounds from last week and 53.7 overall.
I’m down to a 36″ waist and I have the new wardrobe to prove it.
Who knew dieting could be so expensive?
Why did I call this post “Landslide”? Well, it was the last song to pop up on my playlist as I finished my walk this morning. It suits my mood. Maybe you’ll enjoy it too…
I took my love, I took it down Climbed a mountain and I turned around And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills Till the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Too soon to say much here but I’m considering and being considered for a new job. It’s a lot more pay and a lot more hassle. I guess my mindset is that if I get the job, great. If I don’t get it, well, that’s fine too.
Anyway, we have a casual dress code on Fridays. For me that means a short sleeve sport shirt and no tie. Just before lunch I got notified that I’d be meeting the person who has the biggest say in the aforementioned hiring decision. So instead of enjoying my lunchtime stroll (I actually do look forward to it) I went home and changed clothes. Upon my return I was advised the meeting had been postponed until Monday morning. Oh well.
I got home after work with only 1,600 steps under my belt, far short of my 15,000 daily goal. So I put on some shorts and t-shirt and hit the road. I opted for a riverside stroll and invested just over 2 hours in the effort. Finished the night at 18,315 which is satisfactory, but left me a sweaty mess. It’s gonna be a long hot summer as the Big Hominid reminds us.
Now I’m fixin’ to tackle the mountain. Wish me luck, it’s pert near as hot already this morning.
Today is Jee Yeun’s birthday. I sent her a message wishing her a happy one. She thanked me and told me “good luck”. So…
It’s been a little over six months now since I was sent packing. And I’m okay. The fact of the matter is that I’ve grown accustomed to being alone. I can take care of myself. I’ve even gotten to the point where I’m no longer achingly lonely.
One of the things I like about walking is that it gives me time to think. In a good way. Not like when I lay awake in bed at night wondering what the fuck happened to my life. Anyway, I’m not sure I’d call it an epiphany but I’ve come to understand some things.
For one, I’m a selfish bastard. It is just the way I am. I’m not willing to compromise or settle. I’d rather be alone than to accept less than what I want in life. I don’t need anyone to complete me. I’d be ecstatic to encounter a kindred spirit who accepts me as I am, but I’m guessing those are pretty long odds.
But here’s the thing: I just don’t care. Perhaps I’m broken beyond repair, but all those sweet words of love mean nothing to me. I’m dead inside and just don’t feel it. I’ve been burned one too many times to ever believe it again.
And I understand the ramifications of that portend a solitary future. So be it. I’d rather be alone than sucker punched again. Love me at your peril!
I don’t have the patience or desire to make the sacrifices that are required in a “loving relationship”. And that is so contrary to to everything I’ve always believed about myself. I never thought I could make it own my own, and now I’ve come to understand that it is my destiny to live a life of oneness. And I’m alright with that.
Baby we can talk all night But that ain’t gettin us nowhere I told you everything I possibly can There’s nothing left inside of here And maybe you can cry all night But that’ll never change the way I feel
And all I can do is keep on telling you I want you, I need you But-there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you Now don’t be sad ‘Cause two out of three ain’t bad
I can’t lie, I can’t tell you that I’m something I’m not No matter how I try I’ll never be able to give you something Something that I just haven’t got
Baby we can talk all night But that ain’t getting us nowhere
Americans like me celebrate Independence Day with our favorite patriotic songs.
I’ve been working hard and playing hard thus far this weekend. Here’s a recap:
I got reacquainted with Namsan after a two week hiatus. Still an ass kicker.
All that rain on Friday cleaned up the air some. Was expecting to get rained on at some point in my hike but other than some sprinkles I was golden.
Back home I set about freeing up some closet space.
It came together easier than most of my projects…
And it is functional. See those pants? They are all 42″ waist size. Which makes them too big for me to wear now. I reckon I’ll carry them to the on-post thrift store one of these days. What I need to do this afternoon is purchase some new pants for work. I tried on a 36″ pair and they fit. Snug, but they fit!
Saturday night I changed up my routine. I’m usually in the bar around 6 and stumbling home drunk shortly after 9. I wanted to see what the late night crowd was all about so I delayed my arrival at Shenanigans until 8 p.m. The staff was a little shook-up saying they’d been wondering what happened to me. Hey, I don’t want to be too predictable!
I left Shenanigans a little after 10 still relatively sober. Had a soothing Thai massage for an hour then headed over to the Grand Ol’ Opry to resume my hydration. Ran into a guy from work who told me he’s there every weekend. I’m like, so am I, but then I realized he’s there after I’m gone. It was actually interesting seeing the late night faces I’ve been missing. And an added bonus was being there for the traditional rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at midnight. It seemed especially appropriate on this Independence Day weekend.
Despite my late night I was up bright and early Sunday morning. Popped a chicken in the crock pot and set about on my riverside walk.
This is the farthest I’ve gone in the westward direction.
And this elevated pathway took me somewhere I’ve never been before…
…Seoul Forest. It was nice to see they had a designated farting area…
Even after just a brief visit I can say that Seoul Forest will always be deer to me.
Heading back on the opposite side of the river…
I crossed back over at the Banpo bridge and made a quick detour to the commissary where I purchased a walnut brownie mix. Nope, I’m not falling off the carb wagon (well, maybe just a taste), I’m going to treat the Korean staff in my office who are of course working hard this 4th of July.
All told, the morning walk was 3.5 hours. That is about my max. My legs were dead and my knee was aching and as this sign a couple of blocks from home reminded me don’t overdo it.
Kevin KIm achieved a “miracle” 40,000 steps on his Saturday morning walk. This is as close to a miracle that I’ll ever get…
And the only way I managed that was 2000 steps walking home from the bar at 0100 on Sunday morning, plus some steps I got in during the dart tourney Sunday afternoon. And yes, I took a round about way home after darts so I could break the 30,000 barrier…
Perhaps not so coincidentally, I had some good news from the scale this week.
Goal achieved and exceeded!
I initiated my lifestyle change on on February 21, when I weighed in at a robust 269.2. 20 weeks later and I’ve lost 51.9 pounds. My goal had been to get down to 220. But I’m still not pleased with my big belly so I’m going to try and get down to 200 pounds. We’ll see.
It feels good to have put down that big ol’ sack of rice though…
That’s my big news I suppose. As long as you are here, you might enjoy some random ass crap:
My crock pot chicken came out pretty close to perfect. Today the crock pot is slow cooking a pork roast…
These Filipinos put an ass whooping on me last night…
Never flown them, but I’d wager it’s a pretty shitty airline.