The Dating Game

Well, as the old saw goes, when you get bucked off the horse you gotta climb right back on and ride that motherfucker.  Been dipping my toes in the dating pond, at least virtually.  In between walking and drinking I’ve filled some hours on the Filipina Cupid dating website.  It’s a swamp full of scammers and pretenders, but if you are patient you can ferret out some folks who seem at least mildly interesting.

So the way I see it, I’m a well-educated man, successful in most things (excluding love, but no one’s perfect), financially secure, and reasonably attractive for an older gentleman.  When I retire to the Philippines next year I’ll certainly be able to give some lucky Filipina a life beyond her wildest imagination.  The trick is finding the one who is worthy of all that I have to offer.

I’ve had literally hundreds of women “expressing interest”, indicating I’m their “favorite” and messaging me thus far on Filipina Cupid.  While this is certainly soothing to my wounded ego, it’s also a bit of a pain in the ass to sort the wheat from the chaff.  My parameters are age 35-50, reasonably attractive, and intelligent enough to hold a decent conversation.  The qualities I require include honesty, loyalty and a willingness to stay by my side and care for me through good times and bad. Of course, discerning those attributes over the internet (even pictures can lie) is no easy task.  I do read the profiles carefully, and if someone has put forth the effort to actually write something of significance about themselves, I’ll sometimes shoot them a message and start a conversation.

Thus far I’ve identified four potentially worthy of my time.  The first one is 41 year old caregiver named Teri, who happens to live in the exact part of Manila where Loraine resides.  I’ve not broached the subject, but I expect odds are low that they may actually know each other.  Then there is Cora, a 39 year old nurse from elsewhere in Manila. The third is Prences, 38 who does something or other for the city government.  And the latest find is 36 year old Jhanez who purports to be some kind of “artist” and lives in a part of the Philippines I’ve never heard of.  It’s very early in the vetting process and I’ve only had a video chat with Teri thus far.  There’s a long way to go with all of them and I’m in no particular hurry to get there anyway.  I certainly won’t be making a decision on any of them (and there will certainly be others) until I’ve met them in person.

And that’s the thing.  May is still over 6 months away.  I’m not going to start another relationship until I’m on the ground and settled.  I could conceivably offer someone the opportunity to be my tour guide when I next visit at the end of December.  Teri and Cora have already volunteered to do so but I’ll need to have a lot higher comfort level with anyone I commit to spend my vacation with.  Chemistry indeed!

Meanwhile, here in the 3-D world things are much the same as they have always been. I’ve been trying to get a little Joy (a 49 year old Filipina-American I met who works on base) in my life, but thus far we’ve only connected once for dinner at my place (and she brought her roommate with her).  We do have regular FB messenger chats.  My attempts at courtship are for some reason not being reciprocated.  I expect it could be because my departure from Korea is only 6 months away, so what’s the point?  My counter argument is that we could at least have some fun and companionship in the interim.  I haven’t given up, but I’ll cop to being somewhat frustrated.

I’ve also taken up an English tutoring gig to help my friend Mi Young better her skills so she can get the dental hygienist position she covets at the army base clinic.  It’s mostly just conversation, but I do assign her homework which consists of me picking out a blog post from my archives and requiring her to read it and discuss it with me over coffee. Yeah, I’m a bastard to make her suffer through my blog ramblings. We had a very nice conversation last night and she is showing improvement.  I’m still stuck firmly in the friend zone with her, but honestly I’m very comfortable there.  She is full of wisdom and insights and has really helped me come to terms with this latest heartbreak.  I admire and respect her and would not want to ruin that by trying to pursue a romance (which she has made clear she doesn’t want anyway).  She did give me a peck on the lips when she left last night, so there’s that.

And that’s where things stand.  I’m in no man’s (no woman’s?) land—stuck somewhere between my life in Korea and my coming life in the Philippines.  In the meantime I will practice being patient and learning to be satisfied with this beautiful life I’m living.

Stay tuned!

I can see clearly now Loraine is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day



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…


Which is French for “random shit I posted on Facebook this week”.

So, this is where I come down on the bullshit in Charlottesville…


Having said that, the extreme left is every bit as bad if not worse…

And this kind of racism is what causes Charlottesville…

Two years ago I achieved “regular” status at Shenanigans…

Two 4 star generals on peninsula to sort things out…I do believe Trump has called Kim Jung Un’s bluff.

My daughter and son circa 1983 or so. Captures their personalities quite well. They are about the only thing left that I love in this world…

…because no it does not.

And that’s about it from here for now.

Man in motion

Yesterday I walked through the rain so I could get my requisite steps in.  Then my phone chirps and I have a message from my “stalker” with this photo:

I had on my headphones and was focused on the task at hand, so I had no idea someone I knew had spotted me on the road. Ah, the joys of small town living. Everyone knows your business.

I made it to the river without further incident. The bugs were biting. Not mosquitoes who tend to be stealthy, but some kind of biting fly. Going to have to remember to spray on the off next time I’m on the water.

Life is good.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Ain’t she beautiful?

I finally have a new grillfriend.  It all came together yesterday.  And she’ll be residing here at my house.  I think she’s really hot (or will be soon enough).  Big thanks to the nephews for helping making it all possible.

How many McCrareys does it take to assemble a grill? Apparently three.

Well done guys!

Welcome home baby!

All in a day’s work

My workday started at 0445 with a call from the Eighth Army G1 advising that a “phone alert roster drill” was in effect.  This meant that I had to contact all my employees to make sure they could be reached in case of an actual emergency.  I was also instructed to report on my progress every 20 minutes or so.

No problem!  I worked the phones and woke my folks up like a pro.  I had a little math problem though.  I know I have 19 souls in my organization, but for the life of me I could only come up with 18 names.  And then I realized I hadn’t counted myself.  Duh!  Anyway, it took 3 hours but I accounted for all my people.  Mission accomplished!

The other big event in my day was deciphering this:


Yes, I can speak Army, but not fluently.

It was a great day to be an American in the Republic of Korea!

All washed up

The dryer installation went fine, but when I asked the installer about the washing machine he gave me a look like I could do it myself, gesturing at the two hoses that just needed to be connected to the machine and to the faucets.  I shrugged, it seemed simple enough.

Nothing ever is.

Alright, connecting the hoses was easy enough. The faucets didn’t indicate which was hot and which was cold. But what the hell, I’ve got a 50% chance of being right.

Now, since these are “American” appliances they come with 110v cords. Luckily, my house has both types of outlets…

…except when it doesn’t. Those are 220v cleverly disguised behind the 110 v panel. Now what?

Improvisation baby! I happened to have this transformer handy and put it to use.

Another issue was the hose drain was not attached properly so the hose wouldn’t stay in the drain pipe. I put to work some duct tape, but didn’t really expect it to work.

It didn’t.

Trying to do a load of whites right now, but something doesn’t seem to be working right.  Gonna have to get the landlord out here I suppose.

What a life!


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


Have a dream and hope!

At least that’s what this sign told me:

Lately, I just hope my dreams aren't nightmares...

Lately, I just hope my dreams aren’t nightmares…

Best compliment yet on my new look– Bartender at Srooge Pub said ” I used to call you ajussi (uncle) but now I call you oppa (brother).” Should have shaved years ago!

Speaking of being not quite as invisible as I once was, while waiting to cross the street in Itaewon I caught this group of young ladies staring at me.

I'm not a piece of meat girls. I am a human being!

I’m not a piece of meat girls. I am a human being!  Alright, so it was a bus stop advertisement.  I can hope and dream!

With some of that free time I mentioned in my previous post I peruse the reader submissions at a Thai-centric website called Stickman Bangkok.  As is common with this type internet venue, the quality of writing runs the gamut of truly awful to “this guy should be making money as a wordsmith”.

I’ve never been to Thailand (yet) but I do enjoy visiting vicariously through the submissions by those who have experienced the Thai life up close and personal.  And my favorite writer who frequently posts at Stickman is Steve Rosse.

This story is a good example of his work.  It’s a quick read and entertaining.  Go now, I’ll wait here for you.

Good stuff, huh?  I’m not all that interested in girly bars and whoring around these days, and neither is Steve.  Although quite honestly, I’m never quite sure where truth and fiction reside within his work.  That doesn’t lessen the genuine pleasure I get from his stories though.

Anyway, a few months back I read this story by Steve called “Cellies” and it was like being hit upside the head with a brick.  He had artfully expressed in words something I had been doing frequently in the last few months of my ill-fated marriage–escaping to a better life in a world that existed only in my mind.

I was so moved I felt compelled to send him an email and thank him for his effort.  I was a little surprised when Steve wrote me back.  In his email he mentioned that if I enjoyed his writing I might consider purchasing some of his published work on Amazon.  I told him I most certainly would.  But then I went of my six month bender life intruded and I never got around to it.  I did use one of his quotes in a blog post though.

Well fast forward to a week or so ago when I was catching up with StickmanBangkok where I read a submission by Steve called “The List”.  And a couple of days later some anonymous asshole wrote a post that started off by attacking Steve and then went off on a rant delving deep into the sewers of misogyny.  I was pissed and was working on an appropriate response in my head.  I needn’t have bothered, because before I could put words on paper (or pixels in Word if you will) Steve came back with perhaps one of the top ten take downs in internet history.

I sent Steve a congratulatory email and told him his evisceration of “Anus Moony” had finally provided the motivation for me to keep my promise to buy some books.  I guess for a writer that’s about the best thank you of all, right?


I’m quite certain these will provide excellent beach side reading entertainment next week.

And what beach might that be you ask?  Why, lovely Samal island in the Philippines. Never been to that particular part of the PI, but it looks nice in the pictures.

My friend Maria will be my host and tour guide during my visit...

My friend Maria will be my host and tour guide during my visit…

And that’s about where things stand at this particular moment in time.

Except for this:

I've been studiously avoiding engaging in Facebook banter with my friends on the left who all want to talk gun control while ignoring the hulking elephant in the room--Islamic terrorism.

I’ve been studiously avoiding engaging in Facebook banter with my friends on the left who all want to talk gun control while ignoring the hulking elephant in the room–Islamic terrorism.

Liberal logic.  Now there’s an oxymoron for you.



In remembrance

Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.

–Alfred Edward Housman

My great uncle Frank is the only family member I'm aware of who gave his life in the service of our nation.  So I honor him today.

My great uncle Frank is the only family member I’m aware of who gave his life in the service of our nation. So I honor him today.

Korean War memorial--Washington, DC.

Korean War memorial–Washington, DC.

Down the Seven Bridges Road

Sometimes there’s a part of me
Has to turn from here and go
Running like a child from these warm stars
Down the Seven Bridges Road.

well, if you walk far enough there are seven bridges anyway...

well, if you walk far enough there are seven bridges anyway…

This morning I had my follow-up visit with the cardiologist at Soonchunhwang hospital.  I walked over.  Afterwards I walked on in to work.  Given that I was on sick leave, I took the long way there.  Via the river route.

And then I did another hour at lunch.  17,757 steps all told.  Just over 10K in 2 hours 45 minutes.  The highlight of my day.  Gotta take pleasure where you find it I suppose.

Laundry, a steak dinner, and dart league stats after work.  Finished the night with several gin and sodas at Shenanigans.

And so it goes.



This is an artistic post

Even if you say it’s not.

As observed on today's hike up, over, and around Namsam...

As observed on today’s hike up, over, and around Namsam…

Other shit I saw:

Magnolia in blossom...

Magnolia in blossom…

I'm no horticulturist, but I know what I like.

I’m no horticulturist, but I know what I like.

My Saturday companion.

My Saturday companion.

Enjoying the fresh air.

Enjoying the fresh air.

Where I were...

Where I were…

The gaenalee is always the first bush to blossom and I find it quite lovely.

The gaenalee is always the first bush to blossom and I find it quite lovely.

Two hours on the road.  And hours yet to kill before the bar opens.  Guess I’ll go to Amazon and see if I might purchase a life…

No more trash talk

Some people say I have a dirty mouth.  Fuck that shit.

I did get a dental cleaning today from the ambiguously gendered Dr. Sohn. Except for a cracked filling and my gums needing a little TLC I’m doing fine.  She said I could get the filling fixed soon or come back for a root canal later.  Hmm, decisions, decisions…

For the record, I think she is a great dentist and a female.  I recommend her highly.


Just call me Randall Flagg

I’m the walking dude.

As in walked to work.  And walked for a full hour at lunch.  Then walked home.  Then I walked to the bar.

A ham and cheese omelette for breakfast.  Tuna, a boiled egg, and a pickle for lunch.  And a salad for dinner.  I’m all in baby!

How long till I’m handsome again?  Don’t answer that!

The barkeep at Shenanigans gave me this advice:  “You’ve got to love yourself, no one else is going to”.  I responded “ouch” and she professed that is not the way she meant it.

Still, she could be right.  But I’m feeling better regardless…

And today I got a call at work and the person on the other end said “first of all, I really enjoy your blog…:”

I am always pleased to discover random readers.  And also glad I rarely blog about my working life.  Anyway, good to know you are out there Jerry!

And that’s about it for now.  Stay with me.  Things are on the upswing!