Korean Musical Brilliance

This inspiration I owe entirely to the Korean pop music machine which occasionally creates something like this.  UV, a popular Korean music group, recently released a track called "Itaewon Freedom" talking about life in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea. One of the band members, Yoo Se Yoon, is a comedian, and the other, Muzi, I believe is a real musician of some sort. 

For those of you who have not lived in Seoul, or South Korea this probably means very little.  Itaewon is the home of all things foreign in Seoul, both good and bad.  If you need to buy foreign foods or see white people when you feel isolated then you should go!  Actually, it's nice to go because from the moment you arrive you see people of all colors--something we might take for granted in the USA.  Itaewon is the home to about 30,000 US Military personnel and a large percentage of non-Koreans within the city.

UV has managed to take this part of Seoul and put it to song and this beat will get you bumping in your cars and with your Korean friends. 

Please, watch it even if you cannot understand it, it's brilliant.  Tell me what you think while you're at it, please!

A bit of sense for those that don't speak at least some Korean:
청소년은 대공원
노인들은 양로원
아이들은 유치원
우리들은 이태원

Which roughly translated means:
Youth have parks, elderly have nursing homes, kids have kindergartens, we have Itaewon.

If you're interested in Korean lyrics or Romanized lyrics (not a lot of help) then you should visit this blog.  Enjoy!


My Wife

This is what I see when my wife goes places and changes shoes or slippers...I don't know if you can tell but she always manages to reverse them.  In Korea people wear waterproof slippers/shoes in the bathroom to keep their feet dry.  They have the whole "my entire bathroom is my shower so all the floor gets wet" scenario going on.  Of course it makes it easier to clean the bathroom--all you have to do is take a long shower and spray it all down.  

That was how I first noticed her quirk.  She always reversed the shoes and now that we're married I get the biggest kick out of it at all hours of the day.  I came to bed and saw her slippers and all I could do was laugh.  Cute...she's so darn cute.


Using Nouns as Verbs

Thanks to Meme Generator.
 I would like to talk to you about some nerd things.  You all remember nouns, our dear friends which are composed of: Person(s), Place(s), Thing(s).  These are nouns.  Some can be used as verbs as well, but we probably don't think about it very often.  How about E-mail?  Can you not e-mail yourself an e-mail?  Or message yourself a short message?  Sure it sounds silly, but I don't believe there to be anything wrong with it... I just think it's awkward.  Well, these are becoming more common in English as these examples will show you.  Some, well, they are perfectly normal, and some are very awkward.

In Korean and other languages this can be a very common practice but it's more of a built in thing.  Maybe it just seems more built in because I learned it this way from the start.

For example, the word for song in Korean, 노래 (No-rae) can be used in conjunction with the verb 하다 (Ha-da), basically something like "To do".  By combining 노래(No-rae) with 하다 (Ha-da) we can see--노래 하다 (No-rae ha-da), which means "To Sing".  You can use many nouns with 하다 (Ha-da) and it has the same result.  If you wrote it out in a literal fashion it would mean something like "Song to do" or perhaps "To do song."

In English we can do it, but it's not really appropriate in all circumstances... It's becoming more common since English is moving away from our Teutonic, or Germanic roots and is becoming a bit of an isolating language, much like Chinese.  It's kind of crazy, and you might not think it makes much sense, but fear not, just skip over some of the details and look at the examples below.

Frederick Bodmer, retired professor in the Department of Modern Languages at MIT, (succeeded by Noam Chomsky), when explaining the commonalities of Chinese and English said:

"We man a boat but we do not woman a cookery class.  We buy salt and salt our soup, bottle wine and drink from the bottle, but we do not as yet mustard our bacon or cupboard our pants." (The Loom of Language)
Can you tell me which are normal and which make you burst into laughter?  What makes them so much different from each other?

To Door.  To door someone.  Running into the house my mother doored me.
To Food.  After I food my children then we will leave.
To Oven.  I ovened a pizza for dinner last night. (Microwave?)
To Fork.  We just bought 5,000 forks and forked our neighbors yard. (Spoon?)
To Card.  Please card people who are younger than 29.
To Chair.  Chair your child, before he gets out of control.
To Phone.  I'll phone you later.
To House.  House this family and call me after.
To Knee.  He just kneed me in the balls.  It's not nice to knee your friends!
To Camera.  Can you please camera me?
To Trunk.  Trunk this bag and hop in the car.
To Mustard.  Mustard that bread first and then put the ham on.
To Pant and Shirt yourself.  Pant and Shirt yourself and then let's go, we're already late!
To Bra.  Bra yourself, girl, you nasty!

Can you think of any good ones?  Any funny examples, or perhaps exceptionally awkward?  Please share if you care for such things, I would greatly appreciate it!

Borrowed from www.online-literature.com, property of Bill Watterson, Andrews McMeel Publishing.


    In the end if you are not completely convinced why not google it?  Or go google yourself for all I care!

    If any of these pictures belong to you and you do not like the way I've credited you simply visit the Contact Us page and I'll gladly remove your content.


    Green Card Blues No More, Navy-bound With Oar

    Thanks to usvisaforum for this picture.
    I am pleased to inform everyone that my wife's green card has finally arrived and it's quite a beauty.  After our marriage in October, the 15th to be precise, we filed our Adjustment of Status (AOS) paperwork and moved from our K-1 Fiancée Visa to Permanent Residency.  Filing at the end of October we had our Biometrics appointment December 28th and our AOS interview February 24th.

         About a week after we did the Biometrics part we received our EAD, or Employment Authorization card and it was approximately the same amount of time after our AOS interview that our green card arrived.

         I have continued in the long process of enlisting in the US Navy since we were temporarily delayed due to our not having a green card yet... We are almost there--so close we can taste it yet we have not heard a definitive 'yes' nor have we heard a ship date for boot camp.  It's all been a waiting game since we arrived in the USA on that fateful September day.  Life is very often about waiting and we have come to tell you that is very true for us...
    Thanks to Amazon for this photo.
         Since we decided to move back to America and marry it was roughly January, 2010, although it was in the works long before, we have spent the greater part of our lives waiting.  It's not as bad as it seems once the end is nearing but when you have not heard back from Immigration or the military or the visa is taking too long... that is when you begin to pull your hair out.
         When your wife's mother disallows your union and promises to make it end, provoking your anger daily, forever proclaiming her dissatisfaction with my race, my personality, and my profession, you cannot help but hope for a speedy end!  I'm here to tell you that quick might be good when you're in line at the grocery but it doesn't do you a bit of good when it comes to building your character.

    The photo above has absolutely nothing to do with the way I got Olivia to America... She came because she loves me.  Period.  ^-^


    Preeminence of Love

    (In response to a recent blog post of someone whom I follow, and in an effort to describe several days' thoughts with clarity...)

    I wrote in the defense of Christianity recently, however not in the defense of radical apocalyptic pamphlets, and wanted to emphasize the importance of love in Christianity and was questioned why it could not be left simply at loving, or preaching love, without all the dogma?

    It is of utmost importance to show that the greatest attribute of a Christian and of Christendom is love, as embodied in the classical passage read at weddings, 1 Corinthians 13.  While it mentions faith, hope, and love, it underlines love as the greatest and says that all will pass away, and essentially any seemingly good thing done apart from a motivation of love, is worthless.  While this would seem to support a message of simple love without obnoxious dogma I want to show why it is necessary to include it.

    To summarize the Jewish Law Christ was asked which were the greatest commandments, to which He responded:

    37And He said to him, " '(A)YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' 38"This is the great and foremost commandment.
     39"The second is like it, '(B)YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
     40"(C)On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
    I know this sounds a bit preachy, but please bear with me.  Because one of the primary assumptions of Christianity is that humanity is imperfect, and therefore in need of a solution for the predicament in which it has necessarily found itself, we find that loving others is not a given.  I'm not going to say how dirty humanity is, or how we love murder or anything, I mean simply that there are traces of good, and quite a bit of good in others, but it is not our nature to love others and prefer them to ourselves.  We might find good examples of this sacrificial love in parents but even they are very much imperfect, as we can all attest to!

    In short, we just don't have what it takes to love others like we love ourselves all the time and to prefer them to ourselves.  We can try, and we should, and we do but it is a losing battle every day.  Does that mean we should give up?  Absolutely not.  This proves the point.

    The necessity of dogma does not mean we need to hammer down in people's throats the ten commandments or yell at them about the end of times or make them worship saints, etc.  I think we need to remember that the first step is to love God and then we'll learn how to love others.  If we try to love others first we will not succeed because there is more to it.

    I just want to say that the message the Bible preaches at its core is that if you don't have God you'll find that loving is difficult, if not impossible, and that no matter how hard you try you will be left wanting.  I don't mean that it's easy after finding God; it's easier.  Preaching love to everyone without pointing them to the source of love and our example of sacrificial love then we have no one to imitate and no strength to love.  Even Christ underlined the simplicity of the Law and showed that loving God was first, and then others, and if you can do that then all of it will be good.

    Love should be the primary characteristic displayed and our motivation for doing everything but we are going to need a lot of help, this is where the dogma is supposed to simplify things but it is also where people ironically complicate them.  Preaching the importance of nutrition to Africans and North Koreans in the absence of food is not very sensible.  Giving food makes a lot more sense.  Preaching love requires demonstrating love in the first place but also requires that people be empowered, in a sense, to love others.  We need not over complicate the doctrine, but the first part was loving God, then the rest comes from that.

    Please, tell me if I've misrepresented any details or have been unclear about something.


    ID Cards and Pases--Chile

    National ID Card, Chile

         I have boxes of memories from my travels and very few items have been dug up to be displayed for the world to see.  When I lived in Viña del Mar, Chile, during 2006 I accumulated quite a few goodies and these are a few that I love.

    School Bus Pass, Valparaíso, Viña del Mar

    One word: "hair".

    Metro Valparaíso--2006 Reloadable Card

    This is the metro pass for Valparaíso that I only used a couple times--the buses worked out far better for me on my commute from Viña del Mar to Valparaíso.  The metro was pretty--part of it was underground and as it wound around the coast it came out to say 'hello' to nature.

    My old bus route was really fantastic--every day, 20-30 minutes along curvy roads beside the Pacific Ocean...Amazing.

    View Larger Map

    On a side note I had a really great view from my apartment window.  Seriously, this is not my picture but it's where I lived.  Just a block away from here, behind the cameraman.


    Maradona's Finest Hour: El Diego, Vino Tinto

    Anyone remotely familiar with fútbol, or soccer as we North Americans call it, would recognize the name Maradona.  It's synonymous with "the greatest" and "most excellent football player in Argentinian history, or possibly the world over".  What many of you do not know is that he has a wine named in his honor.

    There are probably two ways to take this:
    1.  He's so amazing at football that he can do whatever he wants in this world.
    2.  He achieved such huge success that after retiring he became an alcoholic and thus a symbol of alcoholism, similar to Marilyn Monroe and something else.

    I will let the reader decide this one.

    What is my opinion of this fine wine?  An important thing to note is that it is sold in boxes and is not too expensive.  I guess we could say that despite his cheap appearance on the inside he's still good as ever.  


    Insane For Traveling, Or Because Of...

    I want to talk about a few travel guide programs I've seen, and related programming that helps us get a bit of the world from our couches.  I am indebted to many people, several Couchsurfers, for sharing these programs with me and would like to pass on the word so that others can see the world through their eyes.  They are not all normal in the sense that it would be a good thing to put on for your mother and father...If you don't have young impressionable children hanging around I suggest you watch at least parts of them so you can experience a bit of the necessary shock.  After all, the world is shocking, isn't it?

    Madventures: This program goes all about the world, generally to places that are crazy or dangerous and they do the most unimaginable things, often getting in harm's way to bring the program to you.  Typically they brief the viewer on the point of their mission and give a bit of background information which is helpful.  The creators are Finnish and they are a lot of fun, often using rock, paper, scissors to decide on difficult matters.  I really enjoy it, but it might be a bit disturbing to some--for instance, during their cooking time entitled 'Madcook'--they eat some very interesting things to say the least.  Wikipedia has a nice entry on what they do.  Check out season 3, since the others are all in Finnish...I highly recommend this one!

    Vice Guide to Travel: Something I recently discovered on Netflix; it shows many very interesting segments on the world, and some of their programming is very exciting.  It is not the most professionally done production but if you want to learn something new about the world then I suggest watching it, even if you skip though parts that do not interest you.  One of the things I dislike the most about this program is simply the language used--there is a lot of unnecessary crude language which takes away from it.  The episode on North Korea, episode 8, is quite good, showing a lot of North Korean footage that I have never seen elsewhere.

    Departures: Filmed buy some Canadian guys who wanted to get out and see the world leaving their lives and jobs, and even girls behind.  In my opinion the video quality is excellent and they did an excellent job from what I have seen so far.  I have not been able to finish the entire series (moving across the world slows me down) but I recommend it all the same.  I'm not as crazy on what they have to say, as I don't find it super enlightening, but the footage is just the opposite.  I would describe it as more 'normal' people traveling--if you consider yourself more calm but want to see the world this is a good one to watch.  Not everyone wants to kill animals and buy illegal arms as you might see in the previous shows.


    Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern: Great for people wanting to get acquainted with foods from all over--he does an excellent job representing Korean cuisine, of which I am very fond.  He mind be a bit annoying if you don't appreciate people who absolutely love what they do.  He is very energetic but worth watching and doesn't complain about eating different foods.  I would watch an episode of this show before going to a country to get an idea about what to eat.  Wikipedia has a very well developed article on this also.


    Indío Picaro--Chilean Souvenirs

    Indío Picaro
    Next time you are in Chile be sure to pick up one of these... It looks like a nice piece of indigenous woodwork, and it is, all sorts of pun intended.  If you pick up the top the legs will come down displaying the genius behind this piece of wood.  It comes highly recommended from traveling websites as souvenirs worth buying in Chile.  Pick one up next time you are there, you won't regret it.

    Speaking of not regretting it, the following pictures are worth miles de palabras.