The Seoul Train bravoing my life...

세브란스 Mechanica


I live in a 신촌 over shadowed, in a way, by 세브란스병원.

During the day it sits perchecd at the base of mountain right inside 연세 University's campus, considerably taller than all of the buildings in its vicinity.
At night the Hospital shines down, putting shame to all of 신촌's neon lights.

During the waking hours:

And, during the other waking hours:
Every time I walk up my stairs my eyes are drawn to this monolithic figure. And, every time I am reminded of Medical Mechanica from FLCL, a Japanese Anime produced in 2001.

I envision a rumbling- or maybe I feel the rumbling- and I visualize steam rising from 세브란스 Hospital accompanied with a piercing, echoing sound.

All I need is a yellow scooter, a guitar to wield as a weapon and monsters to start growing from my friends' heads.

How to smile for the past and posterity


I put this up on the SBFC website but I figured I might as well put it here too.
This is the best start to an SBFC team's season ever. We are 4-0-0, with 18 goals scored against other teams and 0 goals scored against our defense. That would be no goals scored against our defense.
I actually got myself in shape before the season started and I have finally returned to the position I played during high school and for the Kansas ODP team. The quick, graceful memories have been replaced with heavy, just-in-time tackles.

I also wanted to include this write up to talk about my theory of taking sports photographs. One is advised to not smile in the photograph. One is to remain stoic and serious for the picture. After all, sport, back back in the day was nothing more than a progressively civilized version of warfare. And maybe it is an outlet for these same emotions even today. I imagine not everyone is on the same page here. Nevertheless, the person being photographed is about to enter a competition and anyone who has ever been competitive knows that it is not something to be smiling about before hand. Additionally, smiling looks poor anyway to your future relatives who may happen to come across the picture. You are posing for the past and the future; when in doubt, dont smile.

SBFC Jokers Fall 2006

Jokers 1- Inchon 0, September, 24th 2006
The SBFC Jokers met the Inchon Shooters, ranked number 2 and 1 respectively, at their home ground, 부평고등학요, to battle it out for rights to sit atop the SSFL table. The Inchon Shooters came into this contest undefeated (3-0-1) with a realistic hope of extending their best start to a season in their club’s history. The Jokers, the defending champions for the past 4 seasons running, also came into this match undefeated (3-0-0) boasting three consecutive clean sheets.
Both teams would primarily be focusing on pulling out a victory of course, but there was also an individual battle to be decided. The main strikers for each side, Sebastien Neumann of the Jokers, winner of the golden boot two seasons previously and Ben Munro from the Inchon Shooters, entered this game neck and neck with 9 goals a piece, tied for first in the race for the much coveted Golden Boot. Both defenses would have their work cut out for them with these potent threats bustling around up front. But it would be no walk in the park for the top ranked forwards as both defenses came well stocked with capable back lines and stellar keepers.
The game was intense right from the get go as a player from each side was shown a red card before the 15 minute mark. Unfortunately, after the dust settled and the play evened out a bit, the Jokers realized that one of their main scoring threats, Seb, was to be the man sitting out for the remainder of the game.
Inchon quickly stepped up the pressure and managed to squeeze off a couple challenges on goal. On the other end the Jokers were having difficulties creating chances, only able to look dangerous on a few occasions. Half time arrived with the score still knotted at 0-0.
The turn in the game came immediately after the break. The Jokers really turned the pressure up, rattling the Inchon defense with half a dozen chances in the first ten minutes. The Jokers would struggle with their finishing but not with maintaining possession of the ball. Inchon managed to counter attack on several occasions but they seemed to be much less of a threat for the remaining 30 minutes of the game. At around the 80 minute mark Jokers' player Miles Mcdonough was taken down in the box by the Inchon keeper. Didier Balistaire, the Jokers' center midfielder, stepped up and buried the ball satisfactorily in the back of the net. Ben Munro would strain against the Jokers defense up to the final whistle, yet, much to his chagrin, the Jokers held on to run away with the victory and yet another clean sheet.



I joined the land of the living a tad before 11am yesterday morning. Sore and dehydrated from yet another Sunday soccer victory, I limped around my apartment performing the get up routine in a groggy haze before settling down at the computer.

The lone email in my account asks:

are you working tonight?
can i meet you tonight?


Good news but surprising. Et-chan lives in Fukuoka, Japan. You don't just drop by Seoul when you live in Fukuoka.

I had other plans but I decide to cancel them. I respond to the email which- in a fancy Japanese sort of way- is sent directly to her computer phone. She calls me shortly after. I give her directions from Seoul Station to The Twosome Place coffee shop in Sinchon. She ends up waiting, wandering and shopping in Sinchon for hours until I can meet her around 9.45pm after my J O B.

She must leave from Busan by 1pm the next day so there is not much time and we get right to it. We take a bus to Hongdae and I get on the phone with Mark. Mark unfortunately informs me that Aysha, his garrulous girlfriend of commendable quality, is not planning on leaving the abode this evening. Consequentially, mark will also not be going out.

But, anyway, we'll throw up a picture of my Irish buddy for posterity.

Here he is in Thailand pointing at a restaurant sign. The name of the shop “Oishi” sounds similar enough to “Orish” his nickname. Mark is “Orish” because he is Irish and teased for acting like as an Ogre during certain late night sessions of his country’s national pastime.

Here is a picture of me and the Orish taken a while back in Iteawon at the restaurant under Jesters clubhouse.

But, mark did not join us that evening so we were on our own. I did my best to give Etsuko an introduction to Hongdae, the artsy, hipish university district a couple blocks from my apartment. We began the night by ordering far too much to eat at the Soju Tent. We did not have any soju in the tent as Et-chan is not a big drinker- she had to pace herself for the evening's tour.

Upon completion of the meal we headed down to Bar 다. Where the following pictures were taken.

Then we were off, rushing through the light fall weather to Brickx Bar down the street, through wafting drifts of dokboki and then around the corner where I bump into the manager from the old HodgePodge Club that Damian, Cassie and I frequented back, back in the day. He has stayed the same even though the bar's name has changed twice since those days.

Brickx is just boss. Nearly no one is there so we have the place to ourselves. We lounge like archaic Persians on piles of pillows under swaths of draped, translucent fabric. We smoke the strawberry Shisha and have a drink or so. One of the workers happens to speak Japanese and we invite him over. A melee of three languages ensues, laughs and toasts all around.

Then Liquid Lounge:

She called me today from Busan as she was about to board the ferry. It was all such a blur. Surprises, of course, fall somewhere between good and bad. This one was good.

Safe travels, Etsuko.

Mr. Cab Driver


I am in a rush and I flag down a cab outside Yonsei University's front gate and slip into the back seat. I quickly state the five word phrase in polite Korean that is needed to get me to the soccer pitch right around the corner.

The ajushi turns to me and mimics me in some high pitched, mumbled nonsense. He turns back pauses and resumes being an asshole by stumbling through seriously sub par English. This is my best guess at his intended meaning:

“Do not use Korean. Speak in your language.” (translated from his English into English)

Struck by the old man's snide arrogance I repeat what I said more slowly. I am truly enjoying this brisk fall Sunday and I refuse to have it ruined by frustration. I look at him in the mirror, anticipating that this 2 minute ride will seem much much longer.

He chuckles at me.

“You no speak Korean.” (verbatim)

Slightly annoyed but more amused at this absurdity I calmly say in Korean, “I'm studying Korean. We're in Korea. I will use Korean.”

My Korean isn't worth writing home about but his English isn't worth the broken chair I removed from my apartment earlier this week.

Whatever. Doesn't matter. Lenny Kravitz has more to complain about but his jingle is appropriate. Appropriate in the sense that both cab drivers suffer from unfortunate predilections.

Mr cab driver wont you stop to let me in
Mr cab driver dont like my kind of skin
Mr cab driver youre never gonna win
Mr cab driver wont you stop to pick me up
Mr cab driver I might need some help
Mr cab driver only thinks about himself

Here we go

Mr cab driver, mr cab driver
Mr cab driver, mr cab driver
Mr cab driver dont like the way I look
He dont like dreads he thinks were all crooks
Mr cab driver reads too many story books
Mr cab driver pass me up with eyes of fire
Mr cab driver thinks were all one sixty fivers
Mr cab driver fuck you Im a survivor
Oh yeah, one more time, ahah

Let me in

Mr cab driver, mr cab driver
Mr cab driver, mr cab driver

Life Vocabulary


I taught the following in my level 4 vocabulary class today:

fart [fa:rt] v. 방귀를 뀌다 n. 방귀
If you fart, the smell will spread out.
당신이 방귀를 뀌다면, 그 냉새는 퍼질것이다.

Coincidentally, it just so happened to be the class with delinquent student #1.
At the beginning of the term I asked the class to choose their own English names
This particular student wrote "mutherfucker!" in the name blank.

Anyway, when we made sentences in class today Mutherfucker wrote:
"miels teacher is fart"

Grand. Just need to step up the spelling a little bit, add a particle and we're there...



That girl I didn't love, then because she was going to leave me, loved,
that girl, that Sunday when I stopped by and she was in bed in her nightgown,
(it only came to me later that somebody else had just then been with her),

that girl, when my hand touched her stomach, under her nightgown,
began turning her stomach to wood – I hadn't known this could be done,
that girls, that humans, could do this – then, when her stomach was wood,

she began turning the rest of herself to perhaps something harder, steel,
or harder; perhaps she was turning herself, her entire, once so soft self,
to some unknown mineral substance found only on other very far planets,

planets with chemical storms and vast, cold ammonia oceans of ice,
and I just had to pretend – I wasn't taking this lightly, I wasn't a kid-
that I wasn't one of those odd, potato-shaped moons with precarious orbits,

then – it was Sunday, though I don't recall bells – I was out, in the street,
and where is she now, dear figment, dear fragment, where are you now,
in your nightgown, in your bed, steel and wood? Dear steel, dear wood.

-C.K. Williams

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