Caveat: Passive-Aggression In Blog Form

I felt annoyed yesterday. My boss asked me if I was doing OK, lately. I'm sure the fact that I'm not very happy with work or with life isn't entirely hidden – I do pretty well at keeping a positive face in the classroom, but I'm not so good at staying positive in the staffroom.

I told the truth – I generally do to such direct questions. But his reaction wasn't to ask what's wrong. He said something to the effect of "well, you can't be happy unless you try to be happy." I'm paraphrasing – I can't recall his exact words. Coming from a friend, this would be OK. Especially since it's a life-philosophy that I've probably bounced out to those around me, too. Not to mention certain things I've said or observed in This Here Blog Thingy.

But coming from my boss, it was a bit annoying. Why? Because it seems like as a boss (as opposed to as a friend), he should take in interest in the possible work-related causes of my unhappiness. Which is to say, although there are other causes for my current unhappiness, work is nevertheless contributing its fair share, and I would expect my boss to wonder what those causes might be. Hmm.

This is a very passive-aggressive rant, and I'm not sure if I'll be glad if someone from work reads this, or mortified. But I'll just write it and see, I guess. Heh.

Caveat: 가지 많은 나무 바람 잘 날 없다

가지    많은                나무  바람  잘           날  없다

branch have-many-PASTPART tree wind calm-FUTPART day doesn’t-exist
A tree with many branches can’t have a calm day [if there is] wind.
“Too many pots on the stove,” maybe. “Too many irons in the fire,” is another possibility. Or there’s some Chinese proverb about mothers with large broods never having a peaceful time.

Caveat: The Drama Of The White Down Feather

This is a completely true story.

Imagine there is a classroom full of eighth-graders – Korean eighth-graders, attending a typical Korean evening English class. There is a girl, who is named Shy But Intelligent Girl, giving an interminably long, well-written but painfully-delivered speech.

Meanwhile, there is boy sitting in the front row who is named Oblivious Boy. He already gave his speech, so he is relaxed: he is on the verge of dozing off, even. Oblivious Boy is pretty handsome, in a KPop sort of way, and the girls seem a little bit intimidated by him, which in 14-year-olds tends to come off more as a dismissiveness, in their mannerisms.

Unfortunately, Oblivious Boy is wearing a black sweater, and attached to the middle of his back, in the midst of the clean black sweater, is a large white down feather – the kind of white down feather that sometimes sneaks out between the seams of popular North Face brand down winter jackets. The white feather is protruding well over a centimeter from the back of his sweater, as he sits motionless in the front row, gazing up, absent-mindedly, at Shy But Intelligent Girl who is giving her interminable but well-written speech.

This white down feather is too noticeable. It's an affront to fashion. Who better to decide this than the girl seated two rows behind him? Her name is Fashionable Girl, of course. She is seated with her friend, Confident And Sociable Girl. They are giggling because of the protruding white down feather on Oblivious Boy's black-sweatered back.

Washed_white_goose_feather Greenscissors_imagesThis distraction demands a solution. Fashionable Girl quietly extracts a pair of green-handled scissors from her bag. Straining across the intervening desk, she clearly intends to remove, or decapitate, the offending white down feather. But she hasn't quite reached Oblivious Boy's black-sweatered back with her snipping scissors when her friend, Confident And Sociable Girl, realizes what Fashionable Girl intends,  and so she whispers for her to stop. Stop! She makes a mime to her friend which – as anyone fluent in Korean teenager gesture-language could recognize – means, "omigod what if he notices?"
Fashionable Girl pouts, and then she has an idea.

She tears off a square of paper from her notebook, about the same size as the offending white down feather. She whispers something in Confident And Sociable Girl's ear, and the latter turns and leans forward. Fashionable Girl the places the square of paper in the same position as the offending white down feather, and then she proceeds to use the green-handled scissors to pluck the square of paper off of her friend's back.

Confident And Sociable Girl turns around and gives a jubilant thumbs up. Their experiment was clearly a stunning success – the offending piece of paper was successfully removed with the green-handled scissors, without being detectable!

Meanwhile, Shy But Intelligent Girl's interminable speech continues apace – if, well… rather interminably.
Having conducted their successful experiment, Fashionable Girl resumes leaning across the intervening desk in her effort to assault the offending white down feather on Oblivious Boy's black-sweatered back.

Snip, snip, snip. She can't. Quite. Reach.

At this particular moment, it occurs to Confident And Sociable Girl to take a moment to look around the room. Much to her alarm, several sets of eyes have drifted away from Shy But Intelligent Girl's interminable but well-written speech, and are instead following the drama of the white down feather avidly. It's not just several students either, but The Teacher, too. He's standing at the back of the room, and he watching curiously.


Confident And Sociable slaps her friend's green-handled scissors-wielding hand down in panic, and immediately, both girls collapse into giggles, face down on their respective desks.

Shy But Intelligent Girl pauses in mid-delivery of her interminable but well-written speech, with a combination of annoyance and mortification on her face. "Why are these other girls interrupting my speech?" her expression demands.

Oblivious Boy, however, remains oblivious.

The Teacher returns his attention to the interminable but well-written but now-interrupted speech, and prompts Shy But Intelligent Girl to continue. The Teacher makes a "cut it out" face at the two giggling girls. Minutes later, the speech has resumed, and the green-handled scissors have reappeared, and have resumed their snipping adventures, shakily snaking across the gap between the two grinning girls and the boy at the front.

But they just can't. Quite. Reach.

Unfortunately, at this moment, Shy But Intelligent Girl's interminable speech suddenly terminates.

The Teacher says, quite unexpectedly, "Yudam. Put the scissors away, please."

"Yes." Fashionable Girl sits back and gives a look of pure innocence, and she looks around the room as if it was some other kid in trouble. Confident And Sociable Girl giggles again, and whispers to her friend.

Oblivious Boy, however, remains oblivious.

Another speech begins, and this chapter comes to a close.

Caveat: Narcissism With An Existential Crisis Right At The End

Students pass notes, as I've observed before. And then teachers – at least, curious and somewhat authoritarian teachers such as myself – confiscate notes, not to punish but more as a study in adolescent anthropology. But this student's note (I'm not sure if he wrote it, or his friend, and I'm not sure it matters who wrote it) is quite incomprehensible.

Note 002

Without stating the boy's name, I will only point out -  for those not familiar with Korean handwriting – that the boy's name is the only writing in the note. It's repeated between equals signs, except for the final not-equals sign. So you might say the content of the note, roughly, is as follows:

To Joe
Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe = Joe ≠ Joe
From Joe

As the title says, this seems like narcissism, with an existential crisis right at the end.

Caveat: Pronunciation Guy Is Very Afraid

Bbang 002This picture at left is "Pronunciation Guy." I have a few visual "mascots" that I use in teaching. The alligator is the most well-known, both in his toy version and his artistically rendered version. But "Pronunciation Guy" was created with his large mouth, seen from the side, for a specific reason. Sometimes I apply my knowledge of articulatory phonetics to try to help students sort out some of the mysteries of English pronunciation. Mostly L vs R, but also things like labiodental fricatives or schwas. I'm careful not to get too carried away, but Pronunciation Guy can be handy, because I can move his tongue and lips around in different drawings.

Work is so absorbing these days, I do very little else. A coworker asked me what I do in the mornings (since hagwon work is afternoon and evening work). I shrugged, and made something up, because lately, it seems like I just wake up and putter around and suddenly several hours have passed and I have to head off to work. I'm puzzled at my failure to use my own time effectively. More than puzzled – I'm distressed.


What I'm listening to right now.

The Black Keys, "Psychotic Girl."

Caveat: I am a drunk cellist

I was trying to explain the word "cherish" to a class. One student, Jinu, stood up from his seat and began a bizarre mime, swinging one arm in and out and swaying his hips strangely.

"What are you doing?" I asked, although such outbursts of randomness were common from Jinu, who is entering the 5th grade next month.

"I am a drunk cellist," he explained. I realized he'd misunderstood "cherish" as "cellist." Still, I'm not sure that explains the need to be a drunk one, though there was a running joke in the class a while back that his handwriting resembled that of a drunk octopus.

The same Jinu has some unusual talents. He writes very convincing Korean in Roman characters – he's better at ad-hoc romanization than many adult Koreans I've met. Here are two samples from a recent quiz.

The first, "mor~ra yo!" is 몰라요 [mol-la-yo = I don't know]. The second, "bbang Jum ee ye yo" is 빵점이에요 [ppang-jeom-i-e-yo = that's zero points].

Bbang 001

Needless to say, despite his romanization talents, it was, indeed, zero points.

Caveat: Baja del cielo en la severa noche

MartiMi poesía

Muy fiera y caprichosa es la Poesía.
A decírselo vengo al pueblo honrado…
La denuncio por fiera. Yo la sirvo
Con toda honestidad: no la maltrato;
No la llamo a deshonra, cuando duerme
Quieta, soñando, de mi amor cansada,
Pidiendo para mi fuerzas al cielo;
No la pinto de gualda y amaranto
Como aquesos poetas; no le estrujo
En un talle de hierro al franco seno;
Y el cabello dorado, suelto al aire,
Ni con cintas retóricas le aprieto:
No: no la pongo en lívidas vasijas
Que morirán; sino la vierto al mundo,
A que cree y fecunde; y ruede y crezca
Libre cual las semillas por el viento:
Eso sí: cuido mucho de que sea
Claro el aire en su entorno; musicales
Las ranas que la amparan en el sueño,
Y limpios y aromados sus vestidos.–
Cuando va a la ciudad, mi Poesía
Me vuelve herida toda; el ojo seco
Como de enajenado, las mejillas
Como hundidas, de asombro: los dos labios
Gruesos, blandos, manchados; una que otra
Gota de cieno en ambas manos puras
Como un cesto de ortigas encendidas:
Así de la ciudad me vuelve siempre:
Mas con el aire de los campos cura:
Baja del cielo en la severa noche
Un bálsamo que cierra las heridas.–
¡Arriba oh corazón: quién dijo muerte?

El corazón mismo dijo muerte.

La imagen de Martí, arriba, es una pintura por el matrimonio griego Gigas y Koyvari. 

Caveat: Dystopian

Just a rather dystopian day. Which is to say, I'm in a dark, dark mood. But a good day to sit and think about things.

What I'm listening to right now.

Dismantled, "Dystopia." The video is weird and blairwitchy. I don't really get it.

Caveat: Filibusters Per Dollar

Blogger Michael J. Smith is, as usual, scathingly precise in his analysis of the alleged "filibuster reform" failure in recent US Senate activity. He writes,

It’s a question of supply and demand. If getting something through
the Senate takes sixty votes instead of fifty, the marginal vote becomes
that much more valuable.

Econ 101.

Thus none of the senators have an economic interest in surrendering the filibuster as currently practiced and configured.

Caveat: Sometimes The Subway Is Too Slow, Right?

Mvs_html_m6704c9afThere's a guy in Paris who decided to try something that everyone who rides a subway must have thought at one time or another… and he beats the train to the next station, on foot.

It's a stunt, obviously. But he captures it with some cameras (including two strapped to his head), and it's been posted on youtube.

I think this should be a new sport, as suggested by the Atlantic Cities post where I learned of this.

Caveat: Can You Run?

What I'm listening to right now.

The Steeldrivers, "Can You Run."

I think this song has a Civil War theme involving slaves running for freedom across the battle lines, which was a frequent occurance, but I find the song oddly resonant at a personal level – despite my own utterly different life – without really paying close attention to the lyrics.

It's just a well-done song, I guess: I really like the line "chase the taste of bondage from my tongue."

There's smoke down by the river
Hear the cannon and the drum
I've got one thing to ask you honey
Can you run?

You know I hate to ask so late
But the moment's finally come
And there won't be time to change your mind
Can you run?

Can you run, to the freedom line of the Lincoln soldiers?
Where the contraband can be a man
With a musket on his shoulder
I've got to stand up tall before I'm done
Wrap these hands of mine around a gun
And chase the taste of bondage from my tongue
Can you run?
Can you run?

I'm takin nothin with me
We've just got time to beat the sun
And the boys in gray are never far away
Can you run?

(repeat chorus)

There's smoke down by the river
Hear the cannon and the drum
And even if I die, I've got to try
Can you run?

(repeat chorus)

Can you run?
Can you run?


Caveat: 꿈이 있다면 절대 포기하지마라

꿈이        있다면          절대      포기하지마라

dream-SUBJ have-TRANSF-IF absolute surrender-NEG-COMMAND
If [you] have a dream don’t ever surrender.
“Don’t ever give up your dreams.” Grammatically, I don’t really get the -다- particle in the first clause’s verb 있다면. My grammar bible insinuates that there’s something called a “transferative” marker, hence my labelling it as TRANSF above, but I don’t see how it contributes any nuance of meaning to the proverb – I think 있으면 would mean exactly the same thing, with the IF (“conditional” marker) attached directly to the verb. Indeed, google translate offers no change of meaning in the two versions – not that that means anything at all.
Yea, well, I mentioned this proverb in my [broken link! FIXME] rant-of-despair the other day, so I decided to look at it properly. Context: giving up a dream.

Caveat: Since I’m Not Ever Going To Learn Korean, Why Am I Here?

I have basically given up hope of ever really learning the Korean Language. I continue to dabble, but the idea of mastering it, the way that I did Spanish, seems beyond my potential. It's too hard, I'm too old or too stupid or too lazy or too undisciplined. It's not happening. It's not going to happen.

This is tragic, in its small, private, personal way – but not just because losing hope in some big, important life goal is tragic – it's also tragic because, beyond other things, my main reason for living and working in Korea was because of wanting to learn the language. With that goal fading into ephemerality, there is nothing keeping me here, and so the pain points and annoyances of life here become more intense and noticeable. I become dissatisfied with my job, I become annoyed with the many small cultural quirks that I used to tolerate in the name of accommodating a foreign country that I loved and was deeply interested in.

I'm hating my job. This is … not sustainable. And it's not really about the job having gotten worse – yes, it's gotten harder, lately, the teaching load has increased, the students' parents have been more assholic than usual. But that's not it, is it? It's because in the past, my reason for putting up with the stuff I didn't like about my job was part-and-parcel of wanting to stay in Korea. It was part  of having a purpose, here. I feel like I'm losing that purpose, rapidly. I have 8 months on my contract. I will stick it out. But I need to figure out what's next in my life, I guess. I'm pretty unhappy – I've lost my equanimity and perspective. So I just have one bad day after the next, in neverending succession.

Tumblr_meir09jNPf1riag1xo1_500This is a scream of despair and frustration, in blog format.

My family doesn't approve of my being here, anyway – or at best, they view it with a sort of befuddled and unsympathetic neutrality. My interest in travel and exotica has waned over the years, and my Buddhist practice is utterly lapsed. So most of the secondary reasons for staying here are also falling by the wayside.

Pues… respecto la imagen a la derecha: y, ¿si acaso he perdido el sueño? Me rindo.


Caveat: 야채죽

I tried making my own 야채죽 [ya-chae-juk = vegetable rice porridge] today, from scratch. I’ve never made it before. I’ve never watched it being made. I was put off by the various recipes I found for it – most required lots of soaking and cooking and blendering, etc. I figured it should be simpler than that.
I chopped up some veggies: mushroom, carrot, squash, onion. I added some pine-nuts. I stir fried these in some sesame oil with some seasoned laver (김 [gim = seaweed]) which provided enough saltiness, along with a dash of soy sauce and a dash of ginseng vinegar (I don’t know why I added the last – because it was there?). I took out the veggies from the fry pan, added water to the pan, making a broth, and then added some already-cooked white rice.
I stirred the rice and broth and mashed up the grains vigorously in the pan with the boiling water on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, and it got creamy, like rice porridge (juk) should. Then I added the vegetables back in, stirred, put in a bowl, topped with garnish of some additional gim, and voila. Prep time was only about 20 minutes.
I won’t say it was as good as the juk you can get at the joint downstairs. But given the fact that I made it, as an experiment, with no recipe and having never done it before, it was pretty darn good. And vegan and nutritious, too.

Speaking of vegetables…
What I’m listening to right now.

시인과 촌장 [si-in-gwa chon-jang], “가시나무 [ga-si-na-mu = thorn tree].”

내 속엔 내가 너무도 많아
당신의 쉴곳 없네
내 속엔 헛된 바램들로
당신의 편할곳 없네
내 속엔 내가 어쩔수 없는 어둠
당신의 쉴 자리를 뺏고
내 속엔 내가 이길수 없는 슬픔
무성한 가시나무 숲같네
바람만 불면 그 메마른 가지
서로 부대끼며 울어대고
쉴곳을 찾아 지쳐 날아온
어린 새들도 가시에 찔려 날아가고
바람만 불면 외롭고 또 외로워
슬픈 노래를 부르던 날이 많았는데
내 속엔 내가 너무도 많아서
당신의 쉴곳 없네
바람만 불면 그 매마른 가지
서로 부대끼며 울어대고
쉴곳을 찾아 지쳐날아온
어린 새들도 가시에 찔려 날아가고
바람만 불면 외롭고
또 괴로워
슬픈 노래를 부르던
날이 많았는데
내 속엔 내가 너무도 많아서
당신의 쉴곳 없네


Caveat: 선생님 미워요

Today was one of the worst, most depressing work days in recent memory: just a conspiracy of things going wrong.
I slept badly over the weekend, so I wasn’t well-rested. Then I learned my uncle (my closest uncle, like a second dad to me) had experienced one of those “but for the grace of god” moments, missing dying in a fiery helicopter crash by a matter of minutes at a shift-change (as a helicopter pilot, this is an actual risk for him). I guess brushes-with-death are one thing, but then no one in my family telling me about it for several weeks just underscored how little my family thinks of me.
And then a student’s mom complained because I had made the word quizzes too easy in a class. But here’s the thing: I made the quizzes easy because that same mom complained two weeks ago that the quizzes were causing too much stress for her kid. So wtf does she want?
And then a student said, in a loud voice, 선생님 미워요 [I hate the teacher]. Does he think I really don’t understand any Korean at all? He’s heard me say more complex things in class, I know. What a little jerk. And no matter how contrite or apologetic he was after this, it stings – because these types of expressions-of-feelings are deeply honest. I completely believe that. So… well, it’s not my job to be liked. I know that. But I don’t really want to be hated, either. And being hated isn’t a good way to get through to kids, is it? I can’t get at what I did wrong with this kid.
And who am I to complain about my family’s lack of communication with me, given my own behavior? I don’t exactly reach out to them in a conventional sense. Still…. Digression: obviously this blog means nothing to any of them, as most of them resent how I don’t write them, yet this blog – though it may serve other purposes, too – was, in fact, started on behalf of my friends and family. Just because it’s unorthodox, how is it not communication? How is this different from a christmas letter copied and sent to family and friends? Is it that technically difficult to bookmark this blog in your browser, and click on it when you think to yourself, I wonder how Jared is doing these days? You’ll get an update, several times a week – even discounting all the BS and cultural detritus I throw here that I know isn’t that personal. Grumble.
So it was a bad day. And I’m tired. And I’m overwhelmed by work, in a very LBridge way, lately. I’ve reached the point where I’m thinking about the end of my contract. That’s a very bad sign, especially with 8 months left. And it’s a bad sign with respect to my long-standing level of trust and relationship with my boss, too. If I leave, it will be nothing short of a betrayal.
Then again, given my family history, I guess betrayal is part of the game of life.
What goes around, comes around.

Caveat: 가만 있으면 중간은 간다

가만  있으면       중간은         간다

wait there-is-IF middle-TOPIC go-PRES
If [you] wait [you] get halfway.
“Waiting will get you halfway there.”
This was actually very hard to translate or figure out. I still can’t really think of an English proverb that matches what I think it means, exactly. How about “waiting is half the battle”? Or even “patience is a virtue”? Then again, there’s the possibility that I haven’t quite got the meaning right. I only figured it out because I found a guy writing – in English – about the opposite proverb, “If you wait you never get even halfway” and he presented this Korean one as a contrast.
Either way, it brings to mind one of my favorite old tropes, Zeno’s Paradox. Do we get there by going halfway? Or do we get halfway if we have to go halfway to halfway first? Philosophers ponder, while Zeno’s girlfriend is stuck waiting.


Caveat: 링딩동

What I'm listening to right now.

Ringdingdong_html_15c05eb9샤이니 [Shinee, i.e. shiny], "링딩동" [ring-ding-dong]. 가사:

네게 반해 버린 내게 왜 이래
두렵다고 물러서지 말고
그냥 내게 맡겨봐라 어때
My lady

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding
Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding
Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

Butterfly 너를 만난 첫 순간
눈이 번쩍 머린 Stop
벨이 딩동 울렸어

난 말야 멋진 놈 착한 놈
그런 놈은 아니지만
나름대로 괜찮은 Bad boy

너는 마치 Butterfly
너무 약해 빠졌어
너무 순해 빠졌어
널 곁에 둬야겠어

더는 걱정마 걱정마
나만 믿어보면 되잖아
니가 너무 맘에 들어
놓칠 수 없는 걸

Baby 내 가슴을 멈출 수 Oh crazy
너무 예뻐 견딜 수 Oh crazy
너 아니면 필요 없다 Crazy
나 왜 이래

We wanna go rocka, rocka, rocka,
rocka, rocka, rock (So fantastic)

Go rocka, rocka, rocka, rocka, rocka, rock (So elastic)

(Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic, fantastic
Elastic, elastic, elastic, elastic)

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

오직 너만 들린다

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

머릿속에 울린다

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

내 가슴에 울린다

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi (Ding Ding Ding)

I call your butterfly
날이 가면 갈수록
못이 박혀 너란 걸
헤어날 수 없다는 걸

나를 선택해 ( 돌이키지 말고)
선택해 (도망가지 말고)
네게 빠진 바보인 나
날 책임져야 돼

Baby 내 가슴을 멈출 수 Oh crazy
너무 예뻐 견딜 수 Oh crazy
너 아니면 필요 없다 Crazy
나 왜 이래

난 착하디 착한 증후군이 걸린 너를 이해 못 하겠다

넌 가끔씩 그런 고정이미지를 탈피 이탈해봐 괜찮다

Break out (Hey) break out (Hey) break out (Hey) break out (Hey)
Ring Ding Ding Ding Ding Dong Dong Dong Dong

사실 난 불안해 어떻게 날 보는지

어쩌면 어쩌면 내게 호감을 갖고 있는지 몰라

이토록 안절부절 할 수밖에 없어

돌이킬 수 없는 걸

Complicated girl( 절대 No란 대답하지 마)

나 괜찮은 남자란 걸( 내가 미쳐버릴지 몰라)

Don't be silly girl ( Silly girl)

You're my miracle ( My miracle)

너만 가질 수 있다면 내겐 다 필요없는 걸

Baby 내 가슴을 멈출 수 Oh crazy
너무 예뻐 견딜 수 Oh crazy
너 아니면 필요 없다 Crazy
나 왜 이래

We wanna go rocka, rocka, rocka,
rocka, rocka, rock (So fantastic)
Go rocka, rocka, rocka, rocka, rocka, rock (So elastic)

(Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic, fantastic
Elastic, elastic, elastic, elastic)

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

오직 너만 들린다

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

머릿속에 울린다

Ring Ding Dong Ring Ding Dong
Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding

Caveat: Pie Story

My student Harry reviews the movie "Life of Pi" which he apparently saw. I [broken link! FIXME] enjoyed the novel, but based on this 5th grader's review, I'm feeling uncertain about wanting to see the movie.

9:30, I went to the theather. and we watched pie story [Life of Pi]. But this movie
is very not fun. so I'm very disappointed. After I'm going to the
karaoke. and I'm sing a song very hard. Then I returned home. and my
mother made a muffin. so I'm very happy.

Caveat: The Ascent of Zombiekind

This is pretty clever. In my notes for this, I called it "Zombies darwinizing," which I thought could be the blog post title, but I didn't use that.


This was found on a tumblr called xwidep. I have realized something: I look at tumblr a lot – but I don't understand it. I guess it's basically a blogging platform, but it seems to work differently from the blogging platform I use for This Here Blog Thingy™.

Caveat: 개같이 벌어서 정승같이 쓰다

개같이    벌어서      정승같이        쓰다

dog-like earn-CONJ minister-like spend
Earn like a dog, spend like a king.
The minister meant here is the king’s head-of-household type minister, from olden times, so I felt the looser translation could just use “king” as that conveys the social level adequately.
“All’s fair in business”? I think there’s an aspect of this meaning, though it could also simply mean, “Hard work has its rewards.” One online translation found was “Work like a dog, live like a king.”
Speaking of working like a dog, and ambivalence toward money:

…near the end of a conversation with Curt, my boss / friend.
Me: “You think I’m weird, don’t you?”

Curt: “Yes. How can you not like money? Do you really not like money.”
Me: “Really. I believe it’s useful, but I really don’t like money.”
Curt: shakes his head and turns away.

Caveat: the truth will set you free

Juk [rice porridge] for dinner, with kim [seasoned, cooked seaweed]. I'm in a juk-craving phase, lately.

Some random quotes from Sanford and Son. Huh? Why am I thinking about this? I was trying to channel Redd Foxx with some students. I was unsuccessful, lacking both generational and socio-cultural components.

Lamont Sanford: You know what they say, the truth will set you free.
Fred Sanford: Your uncle Edgar told the truth, and the judge gave him six months.

Lamont Sanford: [about his cologne] It's called "A Day in Paris".
Fred Sanford: Smells more like "A Night in El Segundo".

Utterly unrelatedly, what I'm listening to right now.

Derma-Tek, "Payback."

I'm in a strange mood, feeling whistfully bitter. My just desserts, for trying explain the anthropic principle (in astrophysics) to Korean 8th graders. I was unsuccessful.


Caveat: 똥 묻은 개가 겨 묻은 개 나무란다

똥   묻은            개가      겨    묻은           개  나무란다

poop bury-PASTPART dog-SUBJ chaff bury-PASTPART dog rebuke-PRES
The dog that buries chaff rebukes the dog that buries poop.
This is one of those “pot calling the kettle black” proverbs. Basically, it means “don’t be a hypocrite.”
It’s notable perhaps because of the appearance of that all-purpose word 똥 [ttong], a favorite of fifth-grade boys, which can translate as everything from manure to poop to shit to dung. It’s not really a bad word in Korean, though obviously it’s not high discourse. But it creates problems when kids look in the dictionaries and find “shit” and use it freely in translation, because that’s not as acceptable as using 똥 in Korean.

Caveat: El Amor Verdadero

At heart, I am, after all is said and done, a romantic. People are shocked or suprised to learn this about me, but I have an immense weakness for romantic gestures and plots, my favorite movie genre is the rom-com and my favorite Korean tv genre is the so-called contemporary drama that is essentially the same thing as Hollywood rom-com.

I saw this video and it melted my heart.

I agree with some commenters on various parts of the web who admire, especially, the communitarian approach this guy's marriage proposal takes: it's not just him proposing, he recruits his entire community.

What I'm listening to right now.

Frank Turner, "Substitute." This, too, is deeply romantic, in somewhat the way that I am… well, sort of.

"Porque todavía creo en el amor verdadero." – Yo.

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