Trip to the brain….

Trippin….. well not really but I am feeling under whelmed with my performance lately. I have been back in the United States for 8 months. I have gotten some things done, but not nearly enough. I got a job, new car and started working on the never ending house project bullshit but there is so much more I want to do. Problem is I come up with these ideas and then pile them on the OTHER list of great ideas I had. Which basically leads to non-action.

I need to really try to push myself harder but just end up blowing it. Part of the problem is organization. Some things are quick and easy ideas or projects and others are much more involved and require finding the right people. I have to really learn to sit down and figure out how much energy and time the things that are important to me require and allot for them. Problem is I get into too much “figurin’ and not enough DOING”. I have never been able to maintain To Do lists. That might be the key, or maybe establishing what is important and then killing the other stuff. I don’t know… All I know is I still have a lot of dreams and aspirations. This star has not burned out yet but sure as hell better start to burn some fuel and light up the sky. Cause sitting on the couch watching my ass grow isn’t helping.

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Lies, ALL LIES

Yeah, I was going to use “lies” from The Knickerbockers, The Black Keys or Evanescence but then I realized if I wanted ratings I better go with Big Bang. That way I can really grab the 10 – 15 year old demo from most of the East. ANYWAY, on to my real subject… ELECTIONS!

Why would I name this entry “lies, all lies?” Well, gentle reader, because in the United States this is a Presidential election year. The most cringe worthy of times for free thinkers in the United States. It is a time of irrational campaign slander, irrational advertisements and most of all a flooded social media dominated by irrational people “sharing” some stupid news snippet or meme made up by someone else that best represents their irrational opinion.

Over the years I have gotten comfortable with the lies spread by politicians, teachers and religious leaders, hell our country is founded upon them. Considering I live in the “land of the free” I haven’t felt particularly free over the scant 40 years of life. Granted I don’t see people burning opposing places of worship because they are different but lets just say Land Of The Free is a stretch. But I digress, during the campaign for the United States Presidential Election you see commercials that pretty much accuse each other of clubbing seals and torturing babies for fun and sport. All of this has more propaganda slant than a WWII German war effort poster. I thought most people understood that until I started reading the Social Media Posts of friends and co-workers. That is when it hit me, once again I am on the outside looking in. All the years of marketing, public relations and advertising classes give me “They Live” like glasses that help me see through the bullshit. But most do not, they fall prey to the hoopla and take a side. That is when the insanity sets in… much like rooting for your favorite steroided up football player or performance enhanced bicycle racer people lose sight of reality and become a “fan” of one of the candidates.

Most people that know me probably don’t think I have any opinion one way or the other about politics. That is because VERY early in life I found out that you don’t talk about politics, religion or economics with anyone ever. EVER! Everyone has very strong opinions and everyone is very eager to point out all the reasons you are wrong and why they are right. So in my vain attempt to walk the good path in life I just avoid talking about these issues. Most people are more than happy to just talk about their stance as you nod your head like a puppet with no input anyway. They don’t REALLY care what you think or have to say, they just want to make sure their pre-recorded mental message is regurgitated to completion to everyone they know. But at the end of the day every view point is just an opinion, not right and not wrong.

I am generally pretty harsh on the government officials of my country. The congress does nothing (these last few years have been so horrible I am pretty sure our fore fathers would have revolted and “fired” them…. from a cannon…. into the sun) and the president doesn’t seem to change a whole lot. People think that the recessions are caused by presidents but they aren’t, they are caused by the people. If you think that the house you bought last year is suddenly worth 3x what you paid and you have a few maxed credit cards I got some bad news for you… no president is going to save you. You REAP WHAT YOU SOW.

I guess the bottom line is every politician is a self serving liar, they are all rich beyond the average persons comprehension so by nature incapable of making any action “for the people”. As for one being better or worse that another – if you kick over enough rocks you will always find the bugs and roaches. If you feel strongly about one candidate or another good for you, go and pull the lever and hope the box with your hanging chads doesn’t get “misplaced” in a near by swamp (or in this case a near bought swamp). But please keep your opinions to yourselves, you just look stupid screaming from the mountain top about how one puppet is going to save us while the other will doom us forever. Show some restraint and human decency, the candidates won’t but you can.

I’ve had time to reflect

Reflections… i was going to kill this blog, but I think I will just keep on keepin’ on as they used to say way back when. As I slide back into my every day life I think back to my time abroad. It was hard, it was lonely but it was awesome. I met new people, experienced crazy CRAZY things and grew as a person. Sometimes I think of some wacky memory of Korea and I smile. The great groups I saw there, the interesting food I tried. When a 5.6.7.8’s song plays in my car I sometimes have a tear. I was able to see them in Tokyo and they are my favorite band, I think back to that concert with Kiddo and wish it would have never ended. Tokyo kicks serious ass. I enjoy my life back home, but I do miss the constant challenge. I like my job and the closeness of family and friends but I do find myself slipping back into that world away from my world from time to time. Like a tattoo it is part of me (by the way I don’t have any tattoos but do kinda wish I would have picked one up in Korea or Japan)

I will say this to all my friends and those reading this for the first time as they embark on their own journey. Cast fear aside, grab your chances and go like hell. You will be old and grey before you know it…. you have time to rest when you are dead. Gather no moss and enjoy your every moment young travelers. The world is a big crazy beautiful place.

It’s the Final Countdown… with robots!

 

Yeah, I was going to use the original “Final Countdown” but 1) I couldn’t remember if I already used it and B) this one has robots.

So, today is the official “1 week left” day. This time next week I will be on a big ol’ jet airliner carrying me so far away. Away back home. I am looking forward to getting home, home to my family and friends and cats and many many projects that I have dreampt up in my year abroad. But there is a lot I will miss too.

I have spent the last couple days packing and shipping and cleaning. I have a lot more to go, luckily I have beer and MST3K to get me through the cleaning.  I hope everyone has enjoyed my posts, I want to keep the blog going but part of me is not sure if I should just let this stand on it’s own as a testament for the year in Korea and start a different one when I get back. Part of me hopes that future NETs (Native English Teachers) will always be able to come to this blog and read my trials and tribulations so they know they are not alone. Or maybe, like Luke Skywalker, I am GREATLY suffering from delusions of grandeur (Harrison Ford quote). I need to think about it. What do you all think? Should I start a different blog when I get back home and just let this be for the NETs by a NET or just keep adding to this one? Either way… It is the final count down, play me out of here Journey uh, I mean Jabbawockeez.

Last class… most likely ever

So, I just finished teaching my last class here in Korea. I feel like opening a beer and having a cigar (both of which I think are COMPLETELY fine to do in school in Korea I think).  I will save the waxing poetic for a later post after I have had time to digest the year and re-acclimate back home. I will say that I always tried my best. I worked on my lesson plans, represented myself and my country as best I could and always tried to learn from my many many mistakes. I think the year of hit and miss, failure and constant evaluation did me a lot of good. As cheesy as it sounds I think you do learn more from your mistakes than your triumphs. Not that this year abroad was a mistake, not in the least. But teaching kids is insanely erratic, what is an absolute blast for one class will miserably bomb the next without any logical pattern. So you learn to change on the fly (I kept a closet full of word seaches and music video worksheets at the ready).

One incredible relief was me being rehired by my old company early last week. It might sound strange but after spending 14 years at a job it was much more of my life than I imagined. I am very thankful and fortunate to be going back. I hope to give another 14 years to them before I retire off into the sunset (of course I mean the sunset in Japan HA HA). This year was tough, on more than one occasion I wanted to quit but with the encouragement of family and friends I made it. I am glad I did, I would have been pretty raw about it if I had packed it in. Only a few more days and I will be in Florida, I will miss Korea. It was a true life experience that will always be with me. Now it is time to focus on COUPONS!

 

 

3 weeks left

 

Sorry for the late post, I was on winter vacation in Japan for 2 weeks. It was really awesome. I got to see my favorite group The 5.6.7.8’s play live at the UFO club. After that I went to Akihabara for a wild and crazy day of Otaku shenanigans. After that I went to Kobe City and Osaka. It was a really incredible vacation. Now I am back in Korea for the final 3 weeks of my year abroad.

I used the “2 weeks” video even though I officially have 3 weeks left… gotta give the Total Recall some love. Very strange thing in Korea, there is one week of classes in the middle of the winter vacation. So basically I taught English Camp for 2 weeks, and had a conversation class for a week. Then went to Japan for vacation and upon returning have a week of classes then 2 weeks of the school inventing something for me to do until I leave. This one random week is a very strange thing, we all know how much effort and attention the students and teachers will be exhibiting for a span of one week in the middle of vacation. Yeah, that would be NONE. So basically I will be giving them a “good bye” word search worksheet and playing the second half of The Simpsons movie and off they go.

This year was very tough at some points and teaching class to students that don’t care about English or learning in general was frustrating but it was a very good experience. I lived alone for the first time in my life, learned about Korea and Korean culture and spent a month (2 – 2 week vacations) in Japan. I am looking forward to getting back home to my family and friends and WARM SUNSHINE of Florida. Through it all I always knew that Kuato Lives! Apparently Arnold was to Mars he just didn’t “recall”

Be where you are

It is hard not looking ahead. As my time abroad nears its end I find myself looking ahead. My brain focuses on worrying about a job, thinking of that first night back in my own bed and generally thinking about “what happens next” upon leaving Korea. I need to stay focused on the here and now, I try to live by a simple philosophy of “being where you are”.

What does the statement “Be where you are” mean? To me it means keep your mind and your thoughts focused on the task at hand. Think of what you are doing not what you are going to be doing. That simple thought is becoming harder and harder to actually achieve. Not because I am in Korea but because we as a race are losing our focus. How often do you check your smartphone, how often are you in a room with others and stare down at your phone or ipad instead of actually being in the room? It is pretty common for others to look at their phone or text someone “quickly” in the middle of a dinner or at work. I too am guilty of checking my phone or reading email when I should be paying attention.

More and more now my brain is in overdrive about what I will do when I get home. It is natural, like a kid dreaming of Christmas or someone with a week left before their cruise your mind tends to dream and wanders. I still have over a month left (granted it is a month in which I only teach one week) so it behooves me to let my mind wander. I am going to do my best to stay focused and be HERE until I am not. That is not as easy as it sounds, but I will try.

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