I will survive

To a Friend

I ask but one thing of you, only one,
That always you will be my dream of you;
That never shall I wake to find untrue
All this I have believed and rested on,
Forever vanished, like a vision gone
Out into the night. Alas, how few
There are who strike in us a chord we knew
Existed, but so seldom heard its tone
We tremble at the half-forgotten sound.
The world is full of rude awakenings
And heaven-born castles shattered to the ground,
Yet still our human longing vainly clings
To a belief in beauty through all wrongs.
O stay your hand, and leave my heart its songs!

–Amy Lowell

Why not start off with a little poetry to cleanse the palate?

But seriously, Anjeong-ri is proving to be unhealthy for me both emotionally and physically.  I continue to self-medicate with copious amounts of alcohol and I’m starting to feel the effects.  Need to slow down and pace myself so I can make it until May.  By god, I’ll do it or die trying!  Heh.

Anyway, I’m staying relatively busy and grounded at work.  Speaking of which, when I got my pay stub (well, leave and earnings statement which is posted on line) today I brought home a whopping $31 dollars and change.  My first thought was oh shit, they are paying me what I’m worth!  Then I remembered I work for the government and there is no such metric.  It seems that through some incompetence my original appointment expired on 3 September and somehow my re-appointment was never processed.  I’m told it is being “worked on” and I’ll get the money I’m owed sometime in the undefined future.

I keep extra in the checking account for contingencies such as this, so no doubt I will survive.

An atypical Sunday

No walking, no bike riding.  Here’s what I did instead:

Browned some ground beef…

Did some laundry…

filled the candy dish…

diced an onion…

gathered my chili ingredients…

mixed it all up in the crock pot…

beat the carrot cake batter…

marinated the ribeyes

Made a banana pudding…

thawed the shrimp…

Iced the beer…

baked the cake…

cleaned the grill…

prepared a vegetable appetizer with ranch dressing…

baked some potatoes…

set the table…

cooked the corn…

greeted my guests (nephew Justin and friends from Seoul Wan Jun and Beckie…

…the buffet…

garlic bread and grilled meat…

More than enough to go around…

Might have overdid it a tad, but it was fun.  Nice change of pace.

Welcome to the Friend Zone

So, a Korean friend sent me this in messenger. Even personalized it. Yeah, I got the message.

friend zone


  1. a situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.
    “I always wind up in the friend zone, watching them pursue other guys”

Lord knows over the course of a lifetime I’ve both been locked up in friend zone jail and done the incarceration.  I understand the frustration and disappointment that goes along with unrequited emotional attachments.  But, there are worse things.  Honestly speaking, in this case it was almost a relief.  I’ve been down that road too many times to think it will lead to anywhere other than a dead end.

I’m not going to love or be loved, notwithstanding the occasional weak moment of temptation.   The fact of the matter is that I do get lonely and I do crave companionship. And yes, I wouldn’t mind getting laid now and then.  Friends with benefits would work just fine, but alas there are no prospects on the horizon.

Seven months left in Korea.  Ten days until my next visit to the Philippines.  I’ll get by I reckon.

In other news, these three stories were listed in order on Drudge yesterday:

Walking to work staves off death.  Okay, I do that just about everyday.  I should be good to go, but…

Loneliness is as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.  Good thing I’m into vaping now!

And finally the secret to happiness is revealed: Sex and Sleep are the keys to happiness.  Well damn, I’m so horny I can’t sleep.  I’m not happy about that.  I’d say I’m screwed but I’m not.

At least I have the friend zone.

I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travelers to go?

Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there, then everything’s all right


I walk the line

Walking home from the office today:

Sorry, but I walk alone.

And courtesy of Facebook, me two years ago today:

Lost some weight, lost the ‘stache, and lost the wife that gave me the ring. But life goes on…

And yeah, this is me too:

Damn, I hate when that happens…

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time…

Carry on

Well, I see it has been a week since my last post.  Regular readers have probably discerned that I must be in one of my moods.  Yeah, I’m in a funk but don’t worry, I’m not going to go there.  Much.

Let’s just say that I continue to struggle with the emptiness that is my life.  I won’t allow anyone to fill that void with love (and yes, the opportunity has presented itself) and so I have to fight to keep the sadness at bay.  Some days are worse than others in that regard, but I know I’ve been blessed in so many ways that I don’t let myself sink too deeply into despair and self-pity.  I have the power to change my life but for whatever reason I seem incapable of doing so.  So far at least.

Okay, enough of that!  I continue with my WWBD (work, walk, bike, drink) lifestyle.  Work is work but it at least provides some purpose.  Walking gives me lots of time to think, but that’s not always a good thing.  Biking is something to fill some weekend daytime hours.  And lately, drinking is what I do best.  Every fucking night of the week (but only to excess on the weekend).  But hey, it’s what passes as my social life.

Well, I’m a bar stool genius – I can solve the world’s problems
Without even trying
I have dozens of friends and the fun never ends
That is, as long as I’m buying

Who knew I’d be living the lyrics to an old Styx song?

Hey don’t go!  I’ve got pictures!

See, I can still find something to smile about. This was posted above the urinal in an SK gas station I visited on one of my weekend walks…

So near and yet so far. On this side of the fence is where I work, on the other…freedom! Well, I’ve postponed my imminent retirement date. I’ve already announced to my staff that I’ll be gone no later than May. Sooner if need be.

So, I get this weird email from a stranger asking me if I knew how to contact the owner of this beached boat. A victim of Hurricane Irma. I spent the night with my old high schools friends on the Second Chance for New Year’s 2012. When I asked the emailer how she found me she said a Google search turned up this blog post. Interesting. I’ve lost touch with Rod and Patty but I’m not sure it’s the same boat anyway.

And the seasons they go round and round. I watched the rice being planted when I arrived down here. And now I’m watching the harvest.

My trusty river rider parked at the only restrooms you’ll find for over an hour in either direction…

On Saturday I rode to the end of the trail on one side of the river…

And on Sunday my way was blocked by this collapsed bridge which had been under construction. That’s only one section, the whole damn thing came down.

But at least there were flowers to enjoy along the way.

It seems I keep missing this delivery truck when he comes by my place…

I took a trip out to Osan AFB to do some shopping. And that meant rewarding myself with some Arby’s. The French Dip was outstanding!

There’s no Namsan to walk around here, but I make do…

The weather has cooled off to where I can almost walk in comfort…

So many choices in life. Maybe one day I will make the right one…

A park…

And another park.

The path less traveled. But I took it anyway.

Death always looms large, but I just walked on by.

A juxtaposition. Gawd, I’ve been wanting to find an excuse to use that word!

And then it was “back” home. Ahem.

Been keeping the grill fired up…

And I was even on TV! CCTV, but still…

That’s how I look on a drunken Saturday night. Kinda crazed, don’t you think?

It’s not the life I chose nor the life I wanted, but it is most assuredly the life I have.  And I can live with that.

Peace out!

One morning I woke up and I knew you were really gone
A new day, a new way, and new eyes to see the dawn
Go your way, I’ll go mine and carry on


I’m not the man I used to be

Facebook tells me this was exactly two years ago.

This is me last night. Still need to drop 20 pounds or so, but I seem to have flatlined. Of course, all that beer drinking isn’t helping I’m sure.

Ah well, fatter and happier versus a less fat lonely wretch.  You don’t get to choose, you just learn to deal with it.  More or less.

I don’t know

I unilaterally ended my boycott of IDK bar last night.  Regular readers may recall that three months ago the bar added drinks to my bar tab without permission.  Sadly enough, IDK is the only bar in town with dart tourney.  During my exile I had simply quit playing darts, but I’ve decided I need to get off my lazy ass and start throwing again.  I mean, if I’m going to be in a bar drinking, I want to do it productively.

Anyway, I played the tourney last night.  I paid for my drinks as I ordered them thus avoiding the bar tab scam.

Me and my blind draw partner took a second place finish. Not bad considering how much my game has deteriorated during my self-imposed hiatus.

Today I took a walk, took a nap, then took a bike ride.  Did laundry then took another walk.  In the meantime my crock pot was cooking up a nice juicy pulled pork barbecue.

Rode around the base perimeter (inside the fence) today. That’s the new golf course behind me…

Oh, the irony! (that picture is from the internet, but I thought it was pretty funny)

I saw this church on my walk today. Not sure of the denomination, but it seems holy enough….

And that’s all I got folks.

Look what I saw!


There are plenty of things to see and do in this world.  Sadly, not so much in Anjeong-ri. Still, you do the best you can with what you got, right?

The river flows, it flows to the sea, wherever that river goes, that’s where I want to be…

This is where the bike path ended today. Nothing to do but turn around.

Enjoyed the serene green acres of farm living though…

“Go Back”. Your meaning may vary.

Witches need to use the restroom too. Apparently.

I’ve been eating good though…

Dinner last night.

Breakfast this morning…

And some lunchtime nourishment.

Took time to smell the flowers on today’s hike…

I have absolutely no clue why these water faucets were installed smack dab in the middle of nowhere.

A lonely road for a lonely man.

The sun goes down…

…and the moon rises.

Another day in the life out here in the countryside.

Pay it forward

Some of you may remember the movie Pay it Forward.  I got to thinking about it the other day while walking.  The basic premise is that when someone does you a favor, rather than pay it back you pass it along by doing someone else a favor.  It’s actually a pretty sweet concept.

Well, I’m a notoriously selfish bastard (just ask my ex-wives).  But that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of performing a good deed now and again.  And sometimes through an otherwise selfish act you can end up unintentionally helping folks out.

For example, I’ve mentioned in passing the woman I’ve employed in the Philippines to be my personal assistant/caregiver once I retire there.  Obviously that has not happened yet, although Loraine does serve as my tour guide when I visit in the interim. While I’m not there I’ve been sending her to school to learn the skills (massage and caregiving) that will hopefully make my retired years more comfortable and lengthy.

Now, I didn’t have to employ someone months before I retire but Loraine seemed like a good fit for the job and she needed the income.  I guess you could characterize that as an act of generosity (charitably speaking), but also a clearly selfish motivation on my part (didn’t want someone else to hire her before I arrived).  And she’s doing good stuff for me, like keeping track of my blood pressure (I send her the readings each morning), scouring the internet for articles that pertain to whatever I may be complaining about at any given time, and being an understanding ear when I need one.  So far I’d say it’s a win-win.

Loraine is a smart gal who’s never really had the opportunity to pursue formal education.  She’s spent her adult life working in mostly menial jobs to support her family. These often required her to toil long hours in far away countries (Hong Kong, the Middle East, Vietnam).  I certainly respect that like so many Filipinos she sacrificed and did what was necessary to survive.  So it has been especially satisfying for me to see how dedicated she has been to taking full advantage of the opportunity to learn new skills. She has this thirst for knowledge that is quite impressive.  With my luck she will use her training to get a better job, but I’ll still be proud of her for making the effort.

But here is the point of this post (yes, there is one!).  As part of her caregiver on-the-job training she has been working long shifts at a school for special needs children.  Some have physical disabilities, others have emotional and learning disorders.  It’s been a real challenge for her in many ways, but she has risen to that challenge.  She’s been going above and beyond the program requirements, spending her own time and money to prepare visual and other learning aids for the kids.  She told me about one malnourished child who never has food at break time, so she shares hers.  Most of all she feels satisfaction with knowing she is making a difference for these kids by being there.  And she says that would not have been possible if I hadn’t put her in the program.

So, she is paying the opportunity forward.  And if in some small way my selfish act in hiring her has facilitated that, well hell yeah, I’ll share in the joy.  I’m already thinking that when I retire I may have her do volunteer work at a school or nursing home as part of her job.  Heh.  Hiring folks to do the charity work on my behalf seems to suit my nature, don’t you think?

At work…

Filling a void…

Making a difference

Keep up the good work!


Labor Day

The long weekend is over.

Yesterday I did a cookout in honor of the newlyweds, Sonya and Joey.

So, I baked a carrot cake…

Made a banana pudding…

Marinated some rib eye steaks (herb and garlic)…

And then the party started and I totally forget about taking pics.  Anyway, we had shrimp (with cocktail sauce), celery, carrots, and potato chips (with ranch dressing) and nuts for appetizers.  Garlic bread, corn on the cob, asparagus, and baked potato to go with the steaks.  Also had some BBQ spare ribs. Way too much food!

Anyway, it was a good time.  Oh, we did a little drinking too!

Today I got up and as is my wont when I don’t have to work, I took a bike ride on the river.

It was a good day for it…

The ride was cut short though when I encountered this barrier…

Apparently that brand spanking new bridge had a collapse issue.  Oh well.

I managed 23,000+ steps on my afternoon walk.  And best of all, I finally found love!

Where have you been all my life?

And that’s about it for this drunken weekend.  Back at it tomorrow though!

About last night

Smack dab in the middle of a long weekend.  Here’s how Saturday went down.

Started the day with my usual river ride…

….managed to kill a couple of hours of a beautiful day.

Then on my afternoon walk I ran into this chill dude. Asked him if he was early. Apparently he never left.

My new hometown, the lovely village of Anjeong-ri. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

The best way to start a Saturday night is by putting some food in your belly. And with that done, it’s time to hit some bars…

First stop on my bar crawl was Shooters. Always dead, but I’m pals with Dela, a bartender from Cameroon.

Then I moved up the street to one of my other regular haunts, Galaxy.

Made friends with this gal there, but she was a real dog…

I don’t frequent Crystal all that often. It’s usually got a good crowd and they don’t really need my business. Staff is friendly and attractive though, and with an open seat at the bar I took advantage and popped in for a cold brew.

Having caught a buzz I figured I ought to get some religion. So I attended Mass….

I probably spend more time and money here than any other bar…

Mi Young is certainly one of my favorites…

The fifth bar of the night was Casbah. Kind of a throwback place that never seems busy…

So the bargirls were happy to see my wallet me.

Next I stumbled wandered over to Ariang. Not here too often, but it’s a friendly place.

Cute Filipina bartender. Don’t remember her name though… Damn, I just noticed how creepy I look when i’m drunk…

Ended the night at Horse and Cow. It’s an okay place I guess, just doesn’t seem to have much personality if you know what I mean…

But Lana from Uzbekistan is always pleasant to chat with..

In summation–

Cooking up some steaks and fixin’s this afternoon for some friends.  Might be marginally more interesting than this post.  Stay tuned!