Powerless

It is strange to be totally in the dark and not having a clue as to why.

I did manage to fumble around for my flashlight and then found the breaker box.  Sure enough, the main switch was flipped.  Reset it, and it popped back off almost immediately. Contacted the realtor who reached out to the landlord.  When I got home from work everything was back in order.  Nothing like a little excitement in life to spice things up!

In health news, I was back to see the hilarious Dr. Yoo today.  A new chest x-ray revealed much improvement in my lungs, but still a ways to go.  I’m sleeping through the night now which is huge.  Doing my nebulizer at least twice a day which seems to make my coughing more productive.  And best of all I’m not having the shortness of breath episodes now.

I’m slowly working my way up to getting back into a regular walking routine again.  I’ve noticed a considerable reduction in stamina (real heavy breathing on the slightest inclines) but this too shall pass I reckon.  The leg is still sore, but not so painful I have to rest every five minutes like before.  So I guess I’ll just walk it off.

First hike of the year along the Han…

A plaintive plea to which I responded “get over it!”  In the long run it will hurt less that way.

And in the category of punctuation matters:

I only drink when I’m alone or with somebody…

And so.  More and more I’m feeling my Korean life fading away.  Shit’s gettin’ real, but it’s no matter.  No distance.  It’s the ride.

 

 

 

 

On my last leg

Welcome to the night before Christmas.

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!

Vandalized

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.

It only hurts me when I cry

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.

–Sara Teasdale

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

Wassup?

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!

What else?

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…

Good job ladies!

Our Christmas luncheon on Thursday….

…and the dessert table…

My imitation of a motivational speaker.

It’s all good.

In deference to my illness, I’ve switched to a medicinal alcoholic beverage–The hot toddy. Hey, you can look it up. The science is settled…

Said goodbye to my crazy Chinese friend Qian. She’s returning to China on Monday…

As seen on the mean streets of Seoul…

A lover’s moon in the sky and and an empty bed in my villa…

Such is life.

 

 

‘Tis the season

We did a little partying at work today in celebration of the upcoming holiday.

Saint Nicholas even dropped in from the North Pole...

Saint Nicholas even dropped in from the North Pole…

We had a feast fit for a King...

We had a feast fit for a King…

I'm no King, but I did have a Director's size sampling of the various delicacies.

I’m no King, but I did have a Director’s size sampling of the various delicacies.

Da Team...

Da Team…

Me and some of my lovely team members.

Me and some of my lovely team members.

I don't play favorites of course, but if I did, these two would be at the top of my list...

I don’t play favorites of course, but if I did, these two would be at the top of my list…

Anyway, I’m not big on social gatherings of this nature, but I managed to have a good time despite myself.

But there is always something there to remind me.  Today’s event venue is one I had previously visited in happier times.  It doesn’t matter.  Much.

Saw this on Facebook today and thought "sad but true".  Ah well, "who needs a heart when a heart can be broken"

Saw this on Facebook today and thought “sad but true”. Ah well, “who needs a heart when a heart can be broken”

Tomorrow I will be participating in an 8th Army Staff Ride to Incheon where we will visit the key areas of the Incheon Landing in 1950.

There are many lessons to be learned from this event and I've been provided a three inch thick study guide to assist me in learning them.

There are many lessons to be learned from this event and I’ve been provided a three inch thick study guide to assist me in learning them.

At the very least I should have something interesting to blog about for a change.

Stay tuned!

 

We are the Champions!

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!

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.

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.

What’s love got to do with it?

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 nose, the towel for phlegm.

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...

I got up Sunday morning and did up some steak and eggs…

And a pot roast for dinner...

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.

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...

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?

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!

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...

I do enjoy making liberal heads explode…

Very happy with this selection as Secretary of Defense...

Very happy with this selection as Secretary of Defense…

Bring it on biatch...

Bring it on biatch…

And then there was this...

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?

Fighting!

The struggle continues.

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!

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...

First time I’ve ever been skunked in singles league play…

The dart news isn’t all bad though…

We took the semi-finals match 14-3 and will face off Monday night against Dillinger's for the B Division Championship.

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...

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?

…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.” 

I’ll be back!

Giving thanks

I like Thanksgiving.  The food of course.  But also the whole concept of stepping back and recognizing that blessings abound and most of us can truthfully find something in our lives worthy of giving thanks.

My life has certainly not turned out the way I envisioned.  Last year I celebrated the holiday surrounded by my kids and grandchildren and with my wife comfortably by my side.  This year I face an uncertain future, but one that appears more and more likely to feature a solitary existence. And yes, that is my choice.  Oddly enough, I feel optimistic that I will discover a way to find happiness as I leave the past behind and explore new adventures and opportunities.  I’m thankful for that.

I shared this Thanksgiving with my nephew, a co-worker, and some of my “bar family” from Shenanigans.

We enjoyed turkey...

We enjoyed turkey…

...and the traditional sides: corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green been casserole, candied yams, fruit salad, and dinner rolls...

…and the traditional sides: corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green been casserole, candied yams, fruit salad, and dinner rolls…

Pecan pie and a pumpkin pie for dessert...

Pecan pie and a pumpkin pie for dessert… Oh, and beer and wine of course.

Put it all together and it looked something like this...

Put it all together and it looked something like this…

Put us all together and we looked something like this. (excepting Choonae who took the photo).

Put us all together and we looked something like this. (excepting Choonae who took the photo).

Asia was well represented at our feast, left to right we have Sonya (Mongolia), Qian (China), and Choonae (Korea).

Asia was well represented at our feast, left to right we have Sonya (Mongolia), Qian (China), and Choonae (Korea).

Speaking of Choonae, she was thankful for having published her travel guide to Cuba. I made sure each of my guest had a copy of their very own. Signed by the author of course!

Speaking of Choonae, she was thankful for having published her travel guide to Cuba. I made sure each of my guests had a copy of their very own. Signed by the author of course!

It was a good day with good food and good friends.  I’m thankful for that!

One thing I am not thankful for is this damn cough which continues to bedevil me in the wee hours of the morning.  This afternoon I returned to Soonchunhwang hospital’s International Clinic to see if they could fix what’s broken.  I didn’t have an appointment. The hilarious Dr. Yoo was gone for the day, Dr. Joe was not working, but the lovely Dr. Kim, Sun Hee was available to feed my fantasies assist me.  Prettiest doctor I ever did see, and the first time I’ve been treated by a doc in a short skirt.  Yeah, I’m pathetic I know. Regardless, she agreed with me that three weeks was too long to be coughing.  She took my temperature (no fever) and listened to my lungs.  Then she said “let’s get a chest x-ray”.  I bit my tongue and as it turns out, I was the only one getting my chest examined. We reviewed the results together however.  She had pulled up an earlier x-ray and compared it with today’s.  She said the expanded areas of white on the screen were indicative of infection.  She told me she’d prescribe some medication and if I wasn’t better in a week, I should come see her again.  Talk about conflicting motivations!

I didn't say no to these drugs. Hope the work this time!

I didn’t say no to these drugs. Hope they work this time!

I’m still in a low energy mode as well, which is reflected in my pathetic step counts.  My nephew beat me for the first time ever last week and I’m not happy about that.  I’m hoping to get back into the program soon.  Maybe even tomorrow.  We’ll see.

 

 

MOFA SOFA

Today was a little bit out of the ordinary.  I attended the Joint Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Committee meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

I didn't want to look like a rube in front of all the brass and big shots by taking tourist pics, but I did sneak this one in...

I didn’t want to look like a rube in front of all the brass and big shots by taking tourist pics, but I did sneak this one in…

And I fed my hungry ego with this one...

And I fed my hungry ego with this one…

I’m the co-chair of the Labor Subcommittee, but I was glad none of our issues were deemed worthy enough to require my active participation in the discussions, although a couple were mentioned.  Obviously I can’t talk about anything that took place, but it was fascinating to watch the Alliance working through issues of mutual concern.  This is the 50th anniversary of the SOFA and despite language, cultural, and political barriers the ROK/USA partnership marches on.  Katchi Kapshida!

My biggest fear was I’d go into one of my coughing jags during the meeting, but good fortune was with me today.  I’ve been mostly cough free since an early morning bout so maybe I’ve turned the corner.  If not, I’ll go back to the doc on Friday.

Tomorrow my office will have an “organization day” during which we will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast hosted by my Deputy.

I'm contributing a sweet potato pie and a pecan pie...

I’m contributing a sweet potato pie and a pecan pie…

And it ain’t Thanksgiving without my Aunt Pat’s recipe World Famous Fruit Salad

I made a little extra for me.

I made a little extra for me.

And that was my Tuesday.

It’s not so easy to be hard

Sunday sucked.  An emotionally exhausting day full of drama and sorrow.  And that’s before I succumbed to another bout with hacking coughs.

And yet another fit of the coughs this evening, this one starting after work when I popped into Shenanigans for some liquid refreshment.  How bad was it?  One drink and out bad.  And if you know me, that says a lot.

Today was the last day of my prescription medicine which the doc thought ought to clear up the source of the cough.  Apparently not.

I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens next.

 

Sick and tired…

…of being sick and tired.

Had to take the day off work today because I have a cough.  I’ve actually had the cough for over a week now.  It wouldn’t be a problem except that I have coughing fits during the night.  Hacking coughs that are almost painful and result in mucous saturated tissues piled on the floor next the bed.  Last night’s commenced at 0100 and lasted until I apparently passed into a fitful state of sleep sometime after 0230.  Then I woke up again at 0400 to a case of diarrhea that had me in and out of bed until the alarm rang at six.  I just couldn’t answer the bell.

I didn’t leave the house today although I had intended to see if I could get in to see the hilarious Dr. Yu.  I mean, it is just a cough right?  I have a tickle in the throat, but the cough seems to originate from deep in my chest.  When I lay on my back I can hear myself wheeze.  I didn’t experience any coughing fits today except when I laid down for a nap. So apparently being horizontal exacerbates whatever the fuck is wrong with me.  Ah well, this too shall pass.  Or I will.

My new best friend.  On my second bottle.  12 bucks at the PX.  I suppose it is better than nothing.

My new best friend. On my second bottle. 12 bucks at the PX. I suppose it is better than nothing.

Whether it is related to the cough condition or not I don’t know, but I have also been extremely lethargic of late.  Totally unmotivated, lacking in energy, and just feeling plain ass tired.  As a consequence my step count has dropped significantly and my willpower to avoid eating unhealthy is diminished.  Not a good combination!  Hopefully I will rediscover my motivation soon.

In other news, we had our last match of the regular dart league season last night.  Sadly, we did not accomplish our goal of going undefeated, losing to Sin Bin 14-13.  It came down to the last leg of the night, I had a the winning dart in my hand, but failed to execute.  Sorry Bridget.  Well, we still finished first for the season so there’s that.

What the Bulls?

What the Bulls?

I didn’t do shit on Sunday.  On Saturday I ventured down to Songtan to participate in the dart tourney.  Mostly I just needed to get out of town and change my perspective.

Tom , Mike and his wife Eve also made the trip.

Tom along with Mike and his wife Eve also made the trip.

And it proved to be a pretty successful evening at darts for the Seoul contingent.

And it proved to be a pretty successful evening at darts for the Seoul contingent.

After darts we hit the street for some street food, which is the generally the best place to find it.

I went with my old standby chicken-on-a-stick.

I went with my old standby chicken-on-a-stick.

The night being younger than I am, I was enticed by the other members of our cadre to join them at a local Filipino oriented nightclub which was conveniently located in the basement of my hotel.

The band was good and I was drunk.  A combination that resulted in me dancing. Such as it were.

The band was good and I was drunk. A combination that resulted in me dancing. Such as it were.

Friday was a holiday and once again my lazy ass didn’t do shit.  I barely got 10,000 steps in.  That may have been due in part to the fact that I stayed out way too late on Thursday night, arriving home in the wee hours of Friday morning in a state of intoxication.

Work is work.  And I’m doing my best to avoid letting the stress get to me.  Hopefully it gets better soon.

A rare photo capturing government in action.  You saw it here first!

A rare photo capturing government in action. You saw it here first!

It was pretty cool to find myself featured in the latest edition of the Darts Thailand newsletter.

 

Our group of competitors in Bangkok.

Our group of competitors in Bangkok.

I was honored to be named MVP and don the cap!

I was honored to be named MVP and don the cap!

What else?

While I'm still a big fan of Korea, I'm growing increasingly aware that my time here is winding down.  Well, things change.  Including my mind.  So, we'll see what happens.  Maybe I'll like Pyeongtaek.  And it would certainly be more affordable for pensioner than Seoul...

While I’m still a big fan of Korea, I’m growing increasingly aware that my time here is winding down. Well, things change. Including my mind. So, we’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll like Pyeongtaek. And it would certainly be more affordable for a pensioner than Seoul…

But in the meantime I'll continue to follow the yellow brick road and see where it takes me.

But in the meantime I’ll continue to follow the yellow brick road and see where it takes me.

Assuming I get off my lazy ass and start walking again.

 

Slinging the bull

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about darts.  We won last night’s match against Dillinger’s 16-11, and so we remain undefeated going into the final match of the regular season next week.  We’ll be playing Sin Bin, the second place team, so we are going to have to work hard and earn it to win out.

I had an interesting match in singles.  I was down quite a bit in 501, then my opponent struggled with hitting his out and I managed to come back and win the leg.  Then in cricket I was WAY down until I did this:

Yes, for the first time in my darting career I managed to pound 3 double bulls in competition. That got me back in the game, but I was still down. On my next throw I hit 3 single bulls, which put me up on points. Then I hit a 6 mark to close out two of my open numbers, setting me up for an unexpected comeback win. (the photo is from Google Images, I'm not gauche enough to stop in the middle of a match to take a photo of my amazingly fantastic dart throw...)

Yes, for the first time in my darting career I managed to pound 3 double bulls in competition. That got me back in the game, but I was still down. On my next throw I hit 3 single bulls, which put me up on points. Then I hit a 6 mark to close out two of my open numbers, setting me up for an unexpected comeback win. (the photo is from Google Images, I’m not gauche enough to stop in the middle of a match to take a photo of my amazingly fantastic dart throw…)

So, it may come as a surprise to long-time readers but I’ve made the decision to take a break from darts at the end of this season.  The truth of the matter is I’ve lost my passion for the game.  I rarely practice, and notwithstanding my improbably good performance last night, my game has really deteriorated.  2017 is right around the corner and I’ve got lots to get done in preparation for my new life, whatever that may be.  At the least, I’ll need to travel somewhat more frequently as I scout out possible venues for life of re-retirement.

In other news, the weather has turned colder but that hasn’t chilled my enthusiasm for getting my steps in.

Had to break out the old wool cap for the first time this season...

Had to break out the old wool cap for the first time this season…

Walking to work this morning I slipped a pic of my fall trip.

Walking to work this morning I slipped a pic of my fall trip.

It was also a beautiful day for my lunchtime walk.

It was also a beautiful day for my lunchtime walk.

And so I took the long route home from work along the Han riverside.

And so I took the long route home from work along the Han riverside.

I’ll say this for cold weather, it saps the piss right out of me.  Literally.  I always use the toilet just prior to leaving the office.  I had to pee again 30 minutes into my walk.  And then I had to pee again 30 minutes after that.  I then detoured to Naksapyeong station to use their toilet before I could make it home.  Now mind you, I was not drinking anything along the way, so where in the hell is all that liquid waste coming from?

I’ll leave you to ponder that mystery.  24,000+ steps have left me tired tonight.

 

Walk on

Nothing like a good hike to get your head right.

26,000+ steps along the riverside yesterday.  22,000+ on the mountain today.

And I’ve finally made some progress on the weight reduction after being more or less flat lined for the past several weeks.

208 pounds at this afternoon’s weigh-in.  Down 61 overall, 9 pounds to go to achieve goal.

Hope I can make it by Thanksgiving.  I’ve got big plans to load up on everything I’ve been missing when I enjoy the traditional feast.

 

Thanks for the memories

It was a hell of a week.

Lots of work stuff that keeps my life more intense than I like.  But it’s what I signed up for, so why complain?  Much.

Woke up Saturday morning to a coughing fit.  Hocked up all kinds of juicy junk from deep in my innards.  Not a pretty sight.

Later that morning Eun Oke packed up her stuff and left me. Again.  To her credit, she sent me a message suggesting a “break up date”. Well, that was a first. Which at my age I don’t get the opportunity to say very often. Eun Oke decided to end the relationship for reasons I think are legitimate. So no hard feelings on my part. And then she suggested we have a last fling to memorialize the event. Obviously I had nothing better to do. And it was a nice way to finish what had been for the most part a good experience. I’ll miss her.

For those who are curious, her reasoning is that our future plans are incompatible (i.e. me retiring and leaving Korea) and we are both too selfish to compromise.  True.  She also mentioned the age difference (I’m 18 years her senior).  She told me “it’s fine now, but when I’m 52 you’ll be 70!”.  And yes, I’m definitely way to selfish to die early to preclude that event.

Anyway, it’s fine and I’m fine.  I had intentionally held myself back as a matter of self-preservation.  And the sad fact is I am not sure I’ll ever be able to go “all in” in a relationship again.  I think Eun Oke sensed that which I’m sure was a contributing factor in her decision to flee now.  I think it was the right call.  We’ve agreed to remain friends and I’m happy about that.

So far in 2016 I’ve had two women profess their love for me and I have no reason to question the sincerity of those professions.  Still, I have become bitter and cynical to the point that I just don’t really believe in love anymore.  And that’s really a big deal, tantamount to losing my religion.

This week Facebook provided a sad reminder of why the “I love you” words leave me cold.  They have a feature called “Your memories on Facebook” that pops up in your newsfeed on a daily basis.  I can’t seem to stop myself from taking that journey to the past. And that’s where I encountered this nugget from three years ago:

Thank you so much to my lovely husband! He take care of me so good and feed me good…he help me a lot! Even one my arms pain a lot but he make me pain less and inside my heart is full of love and feel warm..I am so lucky and happy woman because of John McCrarey! My life is much better because of you! Thank you and I love you so much!

Things change, obviously.  I’ve moved on pretty much but I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. Part of my problem is I have no understanding as to what the fuck happened.  How do you go from the sentiment expressed above to “I don’t have happy life with you” in less than two years?  I believed in Jee Yeun and never imagined she would abandon the life we made together.  And I know now that if her love wasn’t real and lasting, no love truly can be.

It’s all just words.

Stuff about things…

…I did this weekend.

Kicked off Saturday morning with my customary Namsan excurision.

I'm running out of new angles from which to photograph Seoul Tower...

I’m running out of new angles from which to photograph Seoul Tower…

It was however a fine autumn morning. Hardly broke a sweat...

It was however a fine autumn morning. Hardly broke a sweat…

And the city was looking fine in the clear morning air...

And the city was looking fine in the clear morning air…

And then it became Saturday night.  And this Saturday was the day of the annual Halloween celebration.  And by celebrate I mean drunken debauchery.  I had swore to never get caught up in that madness again after last year’s fiasco.  But the GF had other ideas.

Just go ahead and shoot me now please.

Just go ahead and shoot me now please.

I hadn't dressed up for Halloween since the 1980s...

I hadn’t dressed up for Halloween since the 1980s…

But I decided to just kick back and enjoy myself...

But I decided to just kick back and enjoy myself…

Fellow revelers...

Fellow revelers…

Anyway, the night did not turn out as bad as I expected it would.  So that’s a win.

This morning I was up bright and early.  What to cook?

Considered bositang but went the a pot roast in the crockpot instead...

Considered bositang but went the a pot roast in the crockpot instead…

Then it was off for a jaunt along the Han riverside.

On the way down I encountered a large group of folks marching down the highway.  This is just the trailing remnant, there were at least a couple hundred of marchers.  Marching for what purpose I cannot say...

On the way down I encountered a large group of folks marching down the highway. This is just the trailing remnant, there were at least a couple hundred of marchers. Marching for what purpose I cannot say…

And then I came across this 1950 Chevrolet in cherry condition.  How it got here I have no idea.  I made a mental note that while in was being manufactured in Detroit war was raging on the peninsula.  But this morning all was peaceful.

And then I came across this 1950 Chevrolet in cherry condition. How it got here I have no idea. I made a mental note that while in was being manufactured in Detroit war was raging on the peninsula. But this morning all was peaceful.

Made it to the river and had to pee.  I was touched that the graffiti writer on the restroom wall had taken the time to helpful translate his wit into English.  The meaning however remains lost on me.

Made it to the river and had to pee. I was touched that the graffiti writer on the restroom wall had taken the time to helpful translate his wit into English. The meaning however remains lost on me.

Nonetheless it was a beautiful walk, both heading out...

Nonetheless it was a beautiful walk, both heading out…

And returning.  Went as far as Seoul Forest Park.  Good for 22,000+ steps all told...

And returning. Went as far as Seoul Forest Park. Good for 22,000+ steps all told…

In other news, I’ve reached a political decision which I will share here without further comment.  Surprised?

In the end it was really a no-brainer...

In the end it was really a no-brainer…

Speaking of the election, I was really surprised to see this group of war veterans overwhelmingly supports Hillary.  The race will not be as close as predicted if this is any indication.

Got stood up for my dart match this afternoon which pissed me off.

And a big and busy week on tap, including guests from my higher headquarters in Hawaii, a trip down to Humphreys, and various meetings of dubious value.

And that’s all I’ve got for you.  As commenter Sojuhoncho is wont to say:

Peace Out!

 

Hump day!

This work week is going quite a bit better than last week.  But I’ve still got plenty of time left to screw things up.  And some big opportunities to do so as well.  My Deputy is on leave for a couple of weeks so that adds to the stress and pressure.  She’s always got my back to make sure I don’t drop the ball.  Or mix metaphors.  Those are actually cliches not metaphors, but you know what I meant.

Did take time out of a busy day to celebrate our October birthdays!

Did take time out of a busy day to celebrate our October birthdays!

What else?  The dart team remains undefeated.  Don’t want to jinx the team though, so forget I mentioned it.  Three tough matches to go.

Had my quarterly checkup with the cardiologist yesterday.  He was happy with the weight loss and told me to keep exercising.  Said my LDL cholesterol was too high and gave me a second pill to go along with my blood pressure medicine.

Tuesday night is one of my “don’t get drunk and rest my liver”  “stay at home” nights.  So I took a goodly long walk coming home from work.

Arrived at the Banpo bridge right about sunset...

Arrived at the Banpo bridge right about sunset…

Seoul Tower from the pedestrian overpass at Noksapyeong as I near the end of my hike.

Seoul Tower from the pedestrian overpass at Noksapyeong as I near the end of my hike.

I also completed my 20 minute exercise routine when I got home.  Then I did laundry, made bbq ribs, and did dart league stats.  A thrill a minute my life it is.

I found this article, Joyas Volardores, a very nice take on matters of the heart.  You might too.

And then there is this:

I think I'm getting there.

I think I’m getting there.

But it seems to get me every damn time...

But it seems to get me every damn time…

Onward and upward!

 

 

This day so far

Ah Saturday.  A welcome break from the working life.  I started it with a hangover from the stress relief regimen I engaged last night.  I’m sure it was fun.  Why I woke up in the guest bedroom I have no clue.

Anyway, it seems like forever since I visited my old friend Namsan.  So today we got reacquainted.

 

Nice to see you again!

Nice to see you again!

I saw a statue...

I saw a statue…

...and a building...

…and a building…

...but so far I've not been able to find this restaurant.  Perhaps it is for the best.

…but so far I’ve not been able to find this restaurant. Perhaps it is for the best.  I don’t know.

After my 20,000 step hike, I ventured out to Yongsan Garrison to participate in a birthday barbecue for my friend and dart teammate Ben.

Ben's an Army Major and we met a few years ago in Columbia, SC.  When he left Cola I told him perhaps I'd see him in Korea one day.  His wife said "NO WAY!".  I enjoyed welcoming her to the Land of the Morning Calm.

Ben’s an Army Major and we met a few years ago in Columbia, SC. When he left Cola I told him perhaps I’d see him in Korea one day. His wife said “NO WAY!”. I enjoyed welcoming her to the Land of the Morning Calm.

And that’s about it from here.  Who knows what adventure Saturday night holds in store?  Only one way to find out.  Live it!