Almost anyway. Depart Incheon International at 0755, which means I’ll depart the villa around 0430. Gonna play it safe and take a taxi to the airport.
Destination: Puerto Galera, Republic of the Philippines. From Manila I’ll cab or bus (depending on how much time I have and how much the cab driver wants to rape me) to Batangas. There I will catch the ferry to PG, about a one hour trip. Bringing along a barf bag in case the seas are rough.
I’m flying on Korean Air at least, having learned my lessons the hard way about “low cost” airlines. I’ll pay extra for comfort and service.
Bag is packed. Once I finish this post, I’ll pack the laptop.
Gonna be a weekend millionaire. Yep, that is an actual 100 dollar bill!
In unrelated news (well, the Japanese did attack the Philippines on the same day as Pearl Harbor, so…) I discovered evidence that it would have been impossible for the Japan to attack Hawaii. Hey, I found it on the internet, it must be true!
What else? Well, always the procrastinator but I did manage to beat the 31 December deadline for filing my medical claims with Blue Cross.
It’s not been the healthiest of years for me. Wore out my scanner last night, but got it done…
“You take a risk giving your heart to anybody. But every time your heart gets stomped on, you pick it up, brush it off, and start looking for somebody else to give it to. You know the risk and you accept it, gladly, because the payoff is worth it. And any love that qualifies itself, any ‘I love her but I don’t trust her’ love, isn’t really love. If you’re not risking everything you have, it’s not love. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.” –Steve Rosse
I’m not sure I agree, but I appreciate the sentiment.
And I really enjoyed this story, Call It What It Is. It’s a quick read. Tell me if the main character sounds like anyone you might know…
Alarm set for 0400, reckon I ought to get this shut down so I can get some shut eye.
Back to Soonchunwhang hospital this morning to deal with my leg issue. The hilarious Dr. Yu was not available, but the affable Dr. Joe was there to assist. After describing what had happened, he opined that it was either a back issue or something muscular.
Well, I don’t think it is my back. And I’ve had a similar, although not as severe, issue with my leg in the past. I asked Dr. Joe to review my medical history from a couple of years ago and see what Dr. Yu had prescribed. He did, and I walked out with a prescription for muscle relaxants and pain meds. Oh, and a shot in my ass as well.
Hopefully this will carry me through my holiday vacation plans.
I am pleased to report that it appears I’ve turned the corner on recovering from my persistent cough. Sleeping through the night is wonderful thing indeed!
Sadly, a new issue has now arisen. Yesterday morning as I prepared for my shower I got a sharp, stabbing pain in my back, right at the base of my spine. Took some Motrin and the back pain subsided. When I tried to walk at lunchtime though my left leg was having none of it, the pain was intense. Took some more pain pills. It is fine as long as I am sitting, but once I stand up and start to move, the pain returns.
I suffered through a walk to my Thai massage joint last night hoping a good rubbing would help. Nice massage, but no dice on the pain relief. Getting home last night proved to be a real bitch, I could walk no more than five minutes before I’d have to sit down and rest. The pain is immense and relentless.
Been taking it easy all day today, including a long hot bath. No noticeable improvement thus far. Hopefully I’ll heal soon, otherwise it’s back to the doc on Monday with a whole new issue to discuss. My real concern is not being in shape for my trip to the Philippines next weekend.
If it ain’t one thing it’s another. C’mon! Give me a break!
We were honored today with a visit to our office from the Eighth Army Commanding General, the Command Sergeant Major, and the Eighth Army Chief of Staff.
Our office was competing in the Christmas decoration contest. Haven’t heard the results yet, but I’m expecting a big win for the Directorate of Human Resources Management!
LTG Vandal gave us two thumbs up. I’ll take that as a good sign…
And my boss, the Chief of Staff, seemed pleased. That’s definitely a good sign…
Anyway, we appreciated the kind words and support from the CG. Happy holidays everyone!
UPDATE: Yes! We were awarded the honor of best bedecked office space. Not sure what we get besides accolades and kudos. Will find out on 3 January when I’ve been advised to show up in the Van Fleet Room at 1250.
Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten, Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold, Let it be forgotten forever and ever, Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.
If anyone asks, say it was forgotten Long and long ago, As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall In a long-forgotten snow.
Today marks the sad one year anniversary of the date my wife sent me packing. I’m mostly over it by now, although I do still frequently think of her. I remember when she loved me and wanted to share in my life, although truthfully those days ended a long time before my ultimate departure. I also remember the promises and vows we made to each other that she coldly broke, walking away because she decided she didn’t “have a happy life with me”.
It has been said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And I guess it only hurts until the pain goes away. In one sense this breakup did kill me because I am certainly not the person I was anymore. I’m bitter and cynical and have no faith or trust in the whole concept of “love”. Fuck love, who needs it? I’m no longer in pain because my heart has become a heaping mass of scar tissue. These days I’m satisfied with being comfortably numb.
But don’t mistake my epiphany about the meaninglessness of love as an indication that I’ve abandoned the pursuit of happiness. To the contrary, I’m actually quite optimistic that I will achieve a satisfactory level of joy and contentment on my own terms and in my own way. I know what I want and what I need to be happy, and I expect I will find it in due course.
This is one of my favorite photos of me and Jee Yeun. It was a private moment, not posed, and captured by a friend. As I recall we had spent the weekend in Songtan and we were returning home from my victory in a darts tourney. She was by my side all the way, proud of me, and we loved each other. Or so I like to believe. That’s what I miss, and that is what I hope to find again sometime. Minus the pretense of love. Just someone who will stay by my side, share in my life, and take care of me. I’ll give the same in return. It can and will happen. Someday, somewhere.
So, looking back over my journey this past year I can say I’ve had some adventures, some happy times, and yes, my share of sad days. But nothing worthwhile comes easy and I believe I’ve learned and grown and gained some wisdom that will serve me well in the future. Here’s a quick recap.
I moved into my overpriced but comfortable villa on this day in 2015. And then I proceeded to get drunk every fucking night for two plus months. I guess I was exploring the Leaving Las Vegas option, but really it was more about shutting down my brain so I could sleep at night. I still did my share of shouting at the ceiling though.
Instead of drinking myself into an early grave I wisely chose a more sensible course of action–diet and exercise. The diet was the low carb lifestyle, the exercise was in the form of walking. The former gave me a healthier body, the latter worked wonders on my tortured brain. Together, they resulted in a loss of over 60 pounds. I look better and feel better about myself. That was huge in overcoming my depression.
I did my share of travelling these past 12 months as well. Cambodia, Thailand, and three trips to the Philippines. In fact, I will be returning to the PI to ring in the new year in Puerto Galera, my first time in that locale. My current thinking is that I’ll begin and end 2017 somewhere in the Philippines. Of course, since when have my plans ever gone as planned? That’s why I will remain in my living one day at a time mode, until such time as I run out of days. Heh, that’s the plan at least.
I had two women profess their love for me this year (not at the same time of course!). Both ended in hurt and sadness and re-enforced my belief that love is a sucker’s bet. I feel bad for whatever part I played in bringing pain into those lives, but I will also cherish the memories and good times we shared.
I achieved my goal of becoming debt free.
I presided over the dismantling of my American life. I sold my house and everything in it. In some ways it felt like a funeral for a life I was forced to leave behind. But there is also a sense of freedom now in not being tied down to stuff and the old dreams that that stuff represented. I’m now unencumbered emotionally and materially. That’s a good feeling. Well, for the most part anyway.
I got promoted to the job I retired from six years ago. It’s an even bigger pain in the ass now than it was then, but I couldn’t say no to the money. I’d invested everything I had in a future with Jee Yeun that was not to be. And now I’m in full recovery mode, including financially.
And so as this year ends I’ve come full circle in my life. At some point next year I will re-retire and once again pursue the dream I abandoned six years ago when I chose Jee Yeun over the Philippines. Of course, I’m also six years older and there is no recovering from that.
Life goes on, and so do I. I’ve got a few more adventures in store yet I reckon. Stay tuned!
The only time I feel the pain Is in the sunshine or the rain And I don’t feel no hurt at all Unless you count when teardrops fall I tell the truth ‘cept when I lie It only hurts me when I cry
Long time, no post. Regular readers have likely observed over the years that I periodically have to take an unplanned hiatus from blogging while I engage in the mundane tasks of actually living my life. Not sure why, but sometimes I get in a place where I have to withdraw and re-calibrate. It’s no big deal really and I always find my way back here so that you may share in the boring and often pathetic details of my so-called life. And here I am!
During my absence, I reckon this was my big epiphany: My life is not all that I hoped that it would be. But it is better than I ever imagined it could be.
That’s good enough I suppose.
The other day someone asked me if I had a good memory. I honestly answered “I don’t remember”. Bada bing! Stick around, I’ll be here all week!
Well, I’m still sick. Going on six weeks now and I don’t recall ever being ill for such an elongated period of time. The coughing fits keep me awake at night and consequently I’m always exhausted. Which makes it hard to maintain focus and motivation. Most concerning has been a shortness of breath and lack of stamina. Which continues to impede my walking routine. Not to be overly dramatic about it, but I’ve taken to leaving my apartment door unlocked, just in case I need to be rescued at some point. Although truthfully not many folks would know where to find me should I call out in the night for help. Heh, living on the edge!
I did go back to the international clinic and Soonchunhwang hospital yesterday. It was my fourth visit regarding the cough from hell. This time I got to see my regular physician, the hilarious Dr. Yoo. He didn’t seem to be all that concerned and reassured me that the coughing was natural and needed to excrete the phlegm that is stubbornly clinging to my lungs. He reviewed what the sexy Dr. Kim had previously prescribed and concurred with her course of action. He prescribed a slew of new medications to take over the next ten days and professed his belief that I would be healthy in the new year. One of the pills is supposed to help me make it through the night, and at least last night I did have an uninterrupted sleep. Of course, I was drunk when I went to bed so I can’t attest to the impact of the new medicine. We shall see, but I do feel good enough today to actually sit down and write a boring blog post, so that’s kinda being back to normal.
Well, enough of my drivel. Let’s look at pictures!
Last night was the dart league banquet. Took home the banner for winning the regular season…
….and the plaque for winning the end of season playoffs…
I also took home the “Top Gun” award for B Division. Honestly though I didn’t meet my own performance expectations. Ah well, I have now retired from darts. Or at least I’m done with darts for the remainder of my time in Korea…
We’ve got our office all decorated up for the holidays There’s a contest for best office. The Eighth Army Commanding General will be the judge next week. We expect to win. That’s me supervising the effort…
A fantastic finish to the dart league season with a hard fought victory over the guys and gal from Dillinger’s. Shenanigans came from behind and seized the victory in the team game. It was a great match against an outstanding team. Proud of my teammates because they had to overcome some adversity; one of our top guns was absent and I may as well have not been there either. Can’t remember the last time I threw such shitty darts.
What the Bulls? Seoul International Dart League “B” Division Champions!
We had dedicated our season to our former team Captain, Bridget Werner. She was our “ghost player” all season and I know she would have been thrilled seeing WTB take the regular season and playoff crowns.
Last night was also my swan song for a 10+ year career of darting in SIDL. As I’ve alluded to in previous posts, I’m winding down my Korea life bit by bit. And truthfully, I’ve just lost my passion for the game it seems. Time to move on to something else I suppose.
In unrelated news, I purchased this fancy-dancy throw blanket:
Ain’t she a beaut? It’s a memory from my working life here in Korea that I’ll be able to pack up and move with me where ever I wind up in the world. And hopefully I’ll be leaving all the bad memories behind.
Also renewed my villa lease yesterday, which may seem odd given that I feel like I have one foot out the door already. Well, gotta keep a roof over that other foot. Plus, I committed to seeing Eighth Army through the move to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek. That’s supposed to happen in June/July. My current employment appointment expires in September. So, then or shortly thereafter you can color me gone.
It’s time. My heart can’t take another beat down from Korean women.
I’ve paid my dues Time after time. I’ve done my sentence But committed no crime. And bad mistakes ‒ I’ve made a few. I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face But I’ve come through.
(And I need just go on and on, and on, and on)
We are the champions, my friends, And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end. We are the champions. We are the champions. No time for losers ‘Cause we are the champions of the world.
The good news is I slept through the night without a coughing jag for the first time in a month or so last night. That’s huge, trust me.
This was my bedroom floor on Friday night. It looked about the same on Saturday night. Tissues for the snot, the towel for phlegm.
I got up Sunday morning and did up some steak and eggs…
And a pot roast for dinner…
Then I walked the Han River. 24,000 steps, which is significant because it was the first time since November 21st that I broke 10,000.
The weekend wasn’t all good. Sometimes you just have to let go of someone you care about. That’s never easy for me, but I’ve learned the hard way that love is just not enough. No matter what, you have to take responsibility and be accountable for your actions. The consequences for not doing so are much worse than a broken heart.
I saw this on my walk and took it as a sign…
What else? Well, Shenanigans now has Miller Lite beer on draft.
I had one to celebrate. But beer is not on my menu. And when I do drink beer (primarily darts night) it’s San Miguel Light. I’ve got one foot in the Philippines already, might as well drink the local brew, right?
And since I was having the beer, I figured pulled pork quesadilla’s were in order. Damn the carbs, full speed ahead!
Speaking of which, I climbed on the scale of after my hike yesterday. I figured my lack of activity and undisciplined diet was gonna cost me a few pounds in the wrong direction. To my surprise, I actually lost over a pound–down to 206.9, a new low! I think the coughing fits turned out to be good exercise. I know they caused me to break out in a sweat and made my heart pound. Quite the cardio workout, although I do not recommend it.
I’ve been doing some trolling on Facebook.
I do enjoy making liberal heads explode…
Very happy with this selection as Secretary of Defense…
Bring it on biatch…
And then there was this…
Anyway, I’m marching forward and trying not to look back at what I’m leaving behind.
Oh what’s love got to do, got to do with it What’s love but a second hand emotion What’s love got to do, got to do with it Who needs a heart When a heart can be broken?
Four weeks in and still coughing like a motherfucker. But only in the wee dark hours of the morning. Back to the lovely Dr. Kim, Sun Hee for a follow-up. I was surprised her skirt was even shorter this week than last, and she was surprised the antibiotics hadn’t solved my issues. She listened to my heavy breathing and declared that my lungs sound clear. She prescribed some cough medicine and something to open up my bronchial passages and invited me back to see her again in five days. Hopefully I’ll get a better offer before then.
Here’s hoping the fix is in!
Meanwhile, my dart game has been as sick as I am…
First time I’ve ever been skunked in singles league play…
The dart news isn’t all bad though…
My Monday night team, What the Bulls?, took the semi-finals match 14-3 and will face off Monday night against Dillinger’s for the B Division Championship.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At least at the DHRM building…
The staff wanted a Christmas tree (or in government parlance, a Holiday tree) and apparently my Bah Humbug! response did not translate…
…sometimes you just gotta roll with the flow, right?
The combination of being sick and the meds to fight being sick along with my nighttime coughing fits depriving me of sleep has left me feeling exhausted and lethargic. In addition to lacking the energy to blog, I’ve pretty much not walked for well over a week. To avoid depression I’ve also refrained from stepping onto the scale. I hope to get back into my routine soon. Maybe even tomorrow if these new meds allow for a night of uninterrupted slumber. We’ll see.
I’ll close with a passage from Stephen King which I rather like (I like it so much that I’ve committed it to memory and have likely posted it here before. It’s worth repeating.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”