Fact: Patton Oswalt is not funny, but Daniel Tosh is hysterical.
Irony: Abraham Lincoln started the Secret Service.
Observation: The only way I could care less about the NBA would be to not know it even exists.
Fact: A common misconception is that a teardrop tattoo means you’ve killed someone. What it really means is that you’re a dumbshit. Or unemployed. Or both.
Observation: Febreze is quickly becoming the cranberry of cleaning products: it’s in everything now.
The photo today is of an old Korean woman at the top of the Seoul tower looking longingly in the direction of Chicago.
Yesterday on the 10 o’clock news, my favorite local reporter, the distinguished and ambiguously gay Kai Porter, highlighted a GED graduation ceremony here in El Paso. El Paso never ceases to amaze me.
The shot today is from the side of the tracks at the Bosan Train Station outside of Camp Casey in Korea.
Point & Shoot, Seoul, Korea
I caught this extremely extreme action shot while snapping pictures in Korea at our unit’s “Organization Day.” The people that put an “Organization Day” on call them “Morale Building” and “Fun.” Those of us forced to attend these events prefer to call them ”Gay” and “Beat.”
Speaking of Kanye West… do you think he’ll stand up at the Grammys and declare that President Obama doesn’t care about white shrimp fishermen? Doubt it.
The shot this fabulous day is of train tracks through a fence on a bridge in Seoul.
HDR, Seoul, Korea
Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, was talking to a group of teachers the other day. One of them stood up, clutched the mic, and began lambasting Mr. Christie because she, as a teacher, is not compensated for her education or experience. Mr. Christie’s response? “Well, you know then that you don’t have to do it.” What a concept. Quit complaining to the public administration about your circumstances. If you don’t like where you’re at, do something else. Well done Mr. Christie, and well said. Don’t get me wrong, teachers are great and necessary, but the fact remains that if you don’t like your professional compensation, you can very simply go and do something else. Don’t bitch about what you should be getting–go out and get it.
Conservatives are for small government, limited government interaction, minimal regulation, and are proponents of private industry. Ask a conservative which can do better, the federal government or a private corporation, and ten times out of ten they will reply “the private corporation.” So can someone then explain to me why it is that those on the right are chastising the Obama administration for their lack of action insofar as rectifying the gulf oil spill disaster? It would seem to me that they should exalt in the lack of government interference and the fact that BP, a private organization, is spearheading the solution and subsequent cleanup. Nope. They’re hammering Obama for not making the federal government do more. It’s just partisan bickering and hypocrisy. Don’t get me wrong here: I dislike Obama as much as the next guy. Assuming of course that said guy isn’t on welfare and values his individual wealth and thinks he should provide for himself as opposed to the government providing for him. (And in this country, those are all massively huge assumptions.) But honestly, let’s either concern ourselves with issues or just leave it alone. Partisan banter determines/solves/improves nothing.
The shot today is of a wonderful little highway sign on the east side of Korea. I literally don’t want to go to any of the places this road takes you. It’s not in Seoul but I’ve categorized it as Seoul because it’s easier. Sue me.
There hasn’t been much going on here lately to write about. I’ve been reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand for about a year. I break up the verbose pro-capitalistic diatribes with easier reads. I’m on page 620 right now. Out of 1100 or so. And the print is small, small, small. I’ll lay down in bed and read two pages. It’s pathetic.
The war is coming along nicely. I hit the 6 month mark in 3 days. Eva and I go on leave together toward the end of November. The Army is flying us to Paris. People are jealous that I get to see my wife periodically over here. I tell them they could see their wife too. All she has to do is go to Officer Candidate School, then go to an Officer Basic Course, then work on getting to the same Brigade as her husband, then when the next deployment comes around they can deploy together and they’ll have an opportunity to see each other too. It’s easy! Usually they stop harassing me after that.
I was watching Man vs. Wild the other day and Bear Gryllz ate a camel spider.
Top: Seoul in 2008 with a Canon Rebel xSi DSLR
Bottom: West Point, NY in 2005 with a Canon Elph point and shoot
Point & Shoot, Seoul, Korea, West Point, NY
“In the wintertime, it is the frozen road that is competing with the view of ice fogged frigid beauty; the cold though, doesn’t it split the Cheechakos from the Sourdoughs?” – Sarah Palin
Yikes. She really bugs me. What, pray tell, was McCain thinking? Honestly, if it wasn’t for her we might not be facing a nationalized car industry which should have been allowed to fail, and a pending, seemingly imminent poorly planned and forced nationalized health care system which will also fail. Or it will just trudge along ineffectually for decades, mired in bureaucracy and stagnated by an incomprehensible national deficit which, in all honesty, can’t afford the trillion plus dollars that nationalized health care will cost. Nationalized health care. Darwin is rolling over in his grave.
This was the view from Eva’s apartment in Seoul, looking west. I’d say that in less than 5 years, this view will be gone and in its place will be gigantic apartment buildings much like the one from which I snapped this photo.
HDR, Seoul, Korea
My family, and really no one else, knows that I’m sporadically working on a book. A memoir to be exact. Memoir sounds ridiculous to me, but then again, so does autobiography. I’ll stick with memoir. Here’s an excerpt from a story in the memoir-to-be which I wrote today.
“He started yelling at us in French, volleying the light from my face to Z’s and back again. We understood not a word. He went on and on, punctuating his sentences with a movement of the light, a slam of the fist on our table, a gesture toward the other much more menacing bouncer. We tried to interject. We tried to respond. We tried to argue, to let him know this was a losing battle, that we had nothing substantive to give him, that we just wanted to leave. This went on. Eventually I turned to the girl who still sat beside me, in between me and Z, and asked, ‘Does this guy know that we don’t speak French?’
She looked back at me, calm and collected. ‘Shhhh,’ she replied, putting a finger to her lips as she did so, ‘just give him what he wants.’”
So there you go. A little snippet. It’s coming along.
The picture today is of a urinal at the top of the Seoul Tower in Korea. Yes, you read correctly.
This astounding specimen is, of course, found at the top of the fantabulous 63 Building in the cultural epicenter of Korea commonly referred to as “Seoul.” Why the individual that created this “work of art” decided to sculpt a baby, clothe it in millions of tiny blue sailboat sails, and suspend it from the ceiling will never be known. In fact, I’m pretty sure the curators of the museum housing this Piece of Scintillating Art, or POS Art, also have no idea what it “means.” Here’s what I think probably happened:
A disheveled and grime ridden homeless man squatted in an out of business department store. Most items had been looted, except of course for the mannequins. The Korean police, who sleep in their cars, got bored of sleeping and not pulling people over for going through red lights, so they decided to raid the department store and rid it of squatters. They found the disheveled man and told him to leave. He obliged. But not before swiping a mannequin on his way out. A baby mannequin. He took the mannequin to his former residence, that of an alley. An alley which happened to additionally house the front entrance of a struggling artist’s one room apartment/gallery combo. One Thursday, the artist departs his residence/gallery en route to the store for some disgusting kimchi and some disgusting soju. He buys the kimchi. He buys the soju. He makes his way back to his home/gallery and happens to pass the homeless-man-with-child-mannequin asleep in his alley. He jostles and awakens the man, offering to trade him some kimchi and soju for the child mannequin. The homeless man refuses the kimchi because even Koreans secretly know it’s disgusting, but accepts the soju and hands over the mannequin. The artist takes the mannequin back to his abode/gallery and clothes it in a bizarre onesie toddler outfit consisting of a million tiny blue sailboat shaped triangle tags. With a hood. He then takes it to the 63 Building museum curator, feigning being mute as that conveys an air of mystery and inherent artistic aptitude, and explains in writing that the “sculpture” is called Deliverance or some such other asinine meaningless drivel, and offers it to the curator for free because “The public deserves to witness this; they deserve deliverance.” The curator, not wanting to admit that he has no idea what the fu** this lunatic is talking about, agrees and hangs the bizarre blue flying baby mannequin sculpture up in a prominent part of the museum.
And that’s that.
The photo today is one of my all time favorite pictures of Eva. I took it in the back of a cab in Seoul. Eva and I, along with our friends Chris and Jeff, went to an area which some consider off-limits. By “some” I of course mean “the US military command in Korea” and by “off-limits” I of course mean “off-limits.” We didn’t stay long. I’m also pretty sure we inadvertently wandered into a Mafia run house of ill repute during our venture into the seedy underworld of Korean nightlife. At least I like to think we did. This picture also happens to currently be the background image of my work computer as well as my personal computer. Yea, I like it that much. You should too.
Last night two donkeys wandered into our FOB and were eating our garbage. I haven’t even seen donkeys anywhere near this place since I’ve been here. Granted, I haven’t been out and about much… well, not at all actually. But still. When was the last time you had donkeys wander anywhere? When was the last time you saw a donkey? When was the last time you said or even read the word “donkey.” Donkey. What a ridiculous word. The things you see here…
We had some Iraqi contractors here the other day operating a crane to move around some of our connexes in which we shipped stuff here and continue to use as storage on the FOB. They were like sitcom characters. Bad sitcom characters. Very amusing. I took, and you should therefore expect, pictures of them in the near future.
Eva, Seoul, Korea
Today, Eva and I were driving to dinner. It was about 7pm. We were just driving along, when Eva’s phone rings. ‘Hmm’ we thought, ‘who could that possibly be?’ Turns out, it was someone telling Eva she needed to get a shot. Not just any shot; a shot that tested her for tuberculosis. Oh, and she didn’t need to get it the next morning or the next day. Oh no. She needed to get it right then. So we exited, drove to Ft. Bliss, went to a random First Sergeant’s office, and she got a shot. On Monday night. At 7:30pm. Only in the Army.
This is the ceiling of a train station in Seoul; Noksapyeong Station to be exact. I always thought it was cool.
Abstract, Seoul, Korea
I snapped this outside the 63 Building in Seoul… Love Your Life, Love Your Dream. I do! Especially my dream! That saying doesn’t make any sense.
Here is a picture of Eva on a Korean subway. Hysterical. This was our life for 2 years… how funny is that?
Get it? hahahahahahaha Get it? Man… that’s a good one.
Honestly, string cheese is the bee’s knees. Absolutely delightful. (When I was typing “absolutely” there I was envisioning you reading it as “ab…solutely” with a nice dramatic pause between the first and second syllables. If you didn’t read it as such, please go back and re-read it. Right now.)
I took this shot near Eva’s apartment in Seoul. I thought it well illustrated what I more or less consider the three Seoul standards: the Seoul tower, traffic, and construction. If you’ve been there or ever lived there you’ll agree. If you don’t agree then you’re a dummy. It’s just that simple.
If you click this photo and look where I geotagged this shot on Flickr, you’ll see the exact footbridge I was standing on when I took this photo. I was facing NE. I took this while Eva and I were stationed there; she was stationed here in Seoul and I was 14km from the DMZ. Real fair.
This is a shot from inside a UN building at the DMZ in Korea. The cement line outside the window is the border between North and South Korea. As is evident, at the time I took this particular picture, I was in North Korea. Rather the UN building in North Korea. North Korea… UN… same difference. They both think they possess more international influence and garner more legitimate international attention than they do. Eva and I went there with our friend Eugene; it was very cool. At one point I had my back to the window pictured here and a North Korean soldier looked in at me menacingly. I calmly opened the window, raised the screen, and struck him open-hand Kung Fu style in the throat. He collapsed in a heap with his left hand just over the South Korean border. South Korean soldiers on the DMZ saw him over the border and arrested him. He’s been incarcerated ever since. Apparently he was a high level North Korean military leader disguised as a foot soldier and his capture will likely lead to the fall of North Korea. Just another day’s work.
Point & Shoot, Seoul, Korea
This is from Seoraksan National Park in Korea. I took this in a gondola that took us up to a huge mountain peak which Eva and I summited. It was life changing. It was life and death at times. It was at all times treacherous. I’m exaggerating, it was quite republican. It was cool though. I love this picture; one of my favorites.
Here is a shot of us on the summit. It’s Photoshopped somewhat significantly… see if you can tell where.
Eva and I are going on leave today; it’s the block leave our entire unit is taking before we both head to Iraq next month. We’re going to Chicago, Hilton Head, Baltimore, and Vegas over the next 2 weeks. We’re gonna be busy but it’s gonna be great. That being said, I’ll try and update the site as frequently as possible but no promises. Please be patient and check back for updates as I get to them.
Abstract, Eva, Seoul, Korea
It occurred to me today that actors shouldn’t get involved in politics. Profound huh? Let me elaborate. Actors are generally uneducated; I generalize because for the most part, actors leave home and run off to Hollywood or somewhere similar in their attempt to “make it big.” If they are educated, it’s generally in… acting. This doesn’t really qualify them for much. Either way, as far as actors go, some make it, but most don’t. Those that do make it are idolized and held on pedestals, admired for their greatness while they bask in their own magnificence and spout moronic “beliefs” drenched in gross self-importance and profound uninformed idiocy. The other actors (read: the vast majority) are unemployed, waiting tables, or living paycheck to paycheck trying to make ends meet (read: “struggling”). The difference between these two groups? Luck. Luck in that they are “discovered” or luck in that they are well connected and/or “discovered” through nepotism. So that’s the baseline for why they shouldn’t get involved: a sheer lack of qualification.
None of that is new however. Everyone seems to realize this except E! and Larry King. My reasoning, however, is based more on their generic personas. Actors, by definition, pretend to be other people. They establish themselves by not acting like themselves. What does this mean? This means that they are either incapable or unwilling to generate a substantive persona based on their own ideas and merits. They say what other people write while acting like someone else, and their merit is entirely based on the amount of times they’ve done it and how well the DVD recordings of these pretending sessions sell. My assumption as to why actors of entertainment gravity decide to involve themselves in politics is an inate need or desire to validate themselves. They realize their profession and fame are a mirage of substance and feel the need to get “involved.” However… they’re still unqualified to do so. Their managers (moochers), agents (moochers), peers and friends (other idiot actors), and fans (star-struck nitwits), all lead them to believe otherwise. This perpetuates.
Basically Sean Penn just pisses me off and needs to shut-up. Nobody should listen to Jeff Spicoli.
This is a pretty interesting article illustrating this qualifications theory.
So… that being said… this is a shot at the top of an escalator in the 63 Building complex in Seoul. The 63 Building is my favorite building because it’s giant and bronze and gaudy and emblazoned with the phrase “Love Your Life, Love Your Dream” in massive, magnificent letters. The bronze building through the windows above the escalator is the side of the 63 Building.
HDR, Seoul, Korea
This is Eva and I on a balcony of the hotel in Seoul we stayed in; it was the honeymoon gift from our friends that I mentioned in my post about 5 days ago. Scroll down and review if you so choose. Or click here to see the page without actually scrolling and then go ahead and revel in your abject laziness. We took this the same night I took the grainy (intentionally so) shot of the moon and its (her?) reflection. We posed for this with my camera perilously and precariously balanced on the edge of a damp metal hand rail with the timer set. The trick is this: Aperture Priority with flash. Pose vewy, vewy still and the flash grabs the people in the foreground while the aperature stays open to capture the lights in the background. Easy! *winky emoticon*
(I realize it would have been easier to actually make a winky emoticon thusly but I submit there is precisely zero comic value in that.)
Eva, Rick, Seoul, Korea
These are Bradley Fighting Vehicles under a rather dramatic sky at the Korean Training Center in… Korea. Bradleys suck. I shot this while I was a Battalion S-1 for the Manchus. Being S-1 sucks worse than Bradleys. Apples and Oranges you say? hahaha… civilians.
I shot this in the middle of the afternoon. Some photographers say the only times worth shooting are the morning and the evening. They’re wrong.
HDR, Seoul, Korea
Have you ever seen an infomercial? If you have, you’ve likely seen Billy Mays. He yells everything. He has an overly kempt beard. He seems to always be wearing a blue shirt. He is despicable. I don’t really have any good reason to dislike him, but I do. If you know who I’m talking about and don’t hate him, then you likely own Kaboom, Orange Glo, and/or the Big City Slider Station. Have fun with that.
This isn’t Billy Mays. I’ve never met Billy Mays. If I ever meet him I’ll say “Hello, I’m pleased to meet you Mr. Mays,” but I’ll be thinking “Yuck. You’re even more annoying and terrible in person.” I’ll let you know when and if this ever happens. Don’t hold your breath.