Welcome to Friday!
As I mentioned in last night’s post, a big day in store. Starting with a bus trip down to Pyeongtaek to check out the new office space.
Better check the weather…
Nothing to do now but blog about it.
And here I sit.
Welcome to Friday!
As I mentioned in last night’s post, a big day in store. Starting with a bus trip down to Pyeongtaek to check out the new office space.
Better check the weather…
Nothing to do now but blog about it.
And here I sit.
Had the pleasure of being treated to dinner at Casablanca in HBC last night with my friend and renowned blogger Kevin Kim. I wasn’t very good company I’m afraid because I experienced a coughing fit that lasted throughout the fucking meal. Kevin was gracious about it, and I also appreciated his encouragement as I struggled up the hill to my villa. It was a really fucked up situation.
Today I’ve felt mostly fine, not sure what the fuck is up with that. If I’m not fully recovered when this round of meds is completed I am going to have to get more assertive about finding out just what the fuck is wrong with me. Kevin sent me a link to pneumonia symptoms, but given the tests I have had done I’m thinking that’s not it. I hope the fuck I’m right.
And no, I’m not serious. I want all my liberal countrymen to stick around and enjoy the ride of a lifetime. No fucking way he can be worse than Hillary, right?
I’m off to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek at 0700 tomorrow. They say we are in for snow tonight, but the Captain I talked to said the bus would roll regardless. The Army always goes rolling along after all. Fuckin’ A!
These past few nights my dreams have all been Philippines related. Not in any specific way, they just took place in the Philippines or featured Filipinos.
While my sub-conscious has apparently taken something of leap into the future, here in the present I’m consciously aware that I’m withdrawing from my Korean life. Such as it is.
Yesterday was the opening night of the new dart league season, the first season in over 10 years in which I haven’t participated (well, except for the year I was stuck in the states waiting on the green card for Jee Yeun). I was at the bar of course to cheer for the home team, but more and more it feels like I have one foot out the door.
Eight or nine months to go yet, so I need to maintain some focus on reality, but I’m very much aware of the fact that a new life beckons. I’m not so foolish as to expect it will be better, but given my state of mind, different will suffice.
Korea for me has become a land of broken dreams and broken promises. And there always seems to be something to remind me of that sad fact. So I need to let go and move on. I’ve been wallowing in self-pity for far too long, I fear if I stay here I may drown in it.
In other news, it was back to the doctor on Monday morning. Dr. Joe did the honors this time, and I walked out with another impressive collection of pills. I honestly do think I’m slowly getting better, but without the meds I can’t get a decent nights sleep. And it’s no good being sick and tired. Trust me on that.
I will likely feel better about things when I can start walking again. It’s just been too damn cold. No matter how warm I dress, breathing that cold air wreaks havoc on the lungs. Hopefully next week I’ll get back in my routine.
Ah well, enough of this. Things change. Stick around.
If there was an award for most pessimistic, I probably wouldn’t even be nominated.—anonymous
Work is work but it’s been a pretty decent week. In the midst of expanding the role of my office in a way that I think is both overdue and adds value to the command. I’d call that a win.
Still dealing with the cough, albeit not as intense. I’m sleeping better as well. Tonight is my last round of medicine so here’s hoping I keep making progress without it.
It’s never too early to plan ahead…
Meanwhile, Facebook continues reminding me of memories from years gone by…
What else? Well this was my epiphany of the week:
I’m not afraid of love. Just like I’m not afraid of poison. I avoid both, because love is poison to me.
I’ll keep reminding myself of that each time temptation rears her foolish head.
And finally, let me share another vignette from a writer who seems to speak to me on a level I can understand, Steve Rosse. Your mileage may vary.
And that’s all she wrote. Well, all I did anyway. Until the next post.
Today I decided not to do something. Later on I didn’t do something else. Tomorrow I may not do one of a selection of other things.
Having said that, one thing I did do was take a 2 1/2 hour hike around Namsan. Not up to the top, wasn’t feeling quite ready for that yet.
Something else I didn’t not do today…make a hearty breakfast!
And finally, in the category of things I’m going to miss about Korea…
When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I have looked Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange–my youth.
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.
And in the category of punctuation matters:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
My imitation of a motivational speaker.
Such is life.
We did a little partying at work today in celebration of the upcoming holiday.
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.
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.
At the very least I should have something interesting to blog about for a change.
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.
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:
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.
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.
What else? Well, Shenanigans now has Miller Lite beer on draft.
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.
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?
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.
Meanwhile, my dart game has been as sick as I am…
The dart news isn’t all bad though…
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At least at the DHRM building…
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!
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.
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’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.
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’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.
And it ain’t Thanksgiving without my Aunt Pat’s recipe World Famous Fruit Salad…
And that was my Tuesday.
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.
…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.
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.
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.
After darts we hit the street for some street food, which is the generally the best place to find it.
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.
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.
It was pretty cool to find myself featured in the latest edition of the Darts Thailand newsletter.
Assuming I get off my lazy ass and start walking again.
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:
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.
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.