Thursday, August 30, 2012

Aladdin at Tuacahn

Saturday I went to see the production of Aladdin at Tuacahn.

Overall, I would give my experience a "B."

The show itself gets an A. It would be an A+, except that the "star" of the show, Mr. Aladdin himself, seemed like he was just going through the paces. He didn't seem to be putting a whole lot of effort into it. It was obvious he had done this a thousand times and was just doing it by rote that night. 

The three narrators were amazing. I couldn't wait for them to come back on stage each time. They were funny and had great harmony. They were aware that they were in a play and had many funny asides to the audience. Iago wasn't a parrot this time. He was a little person and was hilarious to watch.

There were great special effects! Explosions galore! When it came time for the cave of wonders, they projected the cave onto a fountain spray. It looked awesome! When Aladdin went into the cave, they projected the cave background onto a screen. In 3D! I was wondering why they handed out 3D glasses at a live stage production. During "A Whole New World," Aladdin and Jasmine went for a magic carpet ride. The carpet lifted off the stage and soared over the audience. 

The other members of the audience get an F. First of all, a good percentage of the patrons there brought their young kids. And by young I mean 5 years old and under. It was ridiculous. Just because your kids enjoy watching the Disney movie Aladdin does not mean they will enjoy a three hour Stage production of the same story! Many people showed up late and sat down after the initial number had started. One family even showed up a half hour into the performance! I couldn't believe they did that. Or that the ushers let them!

The worst part of the audience? There were probably 50 or 60 people who stood up and left BEFORE THE FINALE!  I was flabbergasted! I still am I guess.

I'd like to see the show again. However, I would like to see it with a better audience. Maybe a smaller, indoor venue. It probably wouldn't have the awesome special effects, but I think I might enjoy it even more.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

NOT BEDIA #20: A Failed Experiment

There are many reasons I could list for why this blogging every day was a failed experiment. I still like the idea. Quite a bit, actually, but I missed my third day and figured it was "three strikes I'm out." 

The worst part is that I have had plenty of time to make a post every day. I don't have a job yet. I guess some days I just got too wrapped up in myself and didn't make a post.

Kind of sad, but that's how it is.

The job hunt isn't going all that well. I had two interviews last week. I called today to follow up and found out the positions had been filled. It was a bummer to hear that.

It's been a rough week, that's for sure. Not just with the job hunt, but with other things happening as well.

So I just keep moving forward. 

Hmmm, maybe I should watch "Meet the Robinsons" again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BEDIA #19: Les Miserables

I haven't managed to read the book. Yet. It's been on my "To-Read" list for years. Though, to be honest, I prefer Victor Hugo's poetry to what I've read of his prose. 

I went and saw a production of the musical based on Hugo's most famous work. It was produced by the Utah Shakespeare Festival. 

While the Festival has a pretty high success rate for the productions I've seen, I have to admit that I was rather disappointed with their version of "Les Mis." 

It had a couple high moments, usually whenever the actress playing Eponine was singing. Unfortunately, she didn't sing nearly enough to save the entire production in my eyes.

On the plus side, my disappointment tonight has made me that much more excited for the movie coming out in December.

Monday, August 20, 2012

BEDIA #18: A Problem...

I've been back in the USA for about a month and a half now, and I've noticed a problem. 

I've gained at least 12 pounds. 

How do I know this? When I was unpacking boxes, I came across a scale, so I weighed myself. I've been weighing myself periodically since then and watching the number rise.

I know what I need to do to fix this and make it better. I just lack the motivation.

I'm pretty sure it's affecting my self-image and depression.

Like I said, I know how to fix the problem, I just don't have the drive to keep myself motivated.

I think a job would help. Keep me distracted and on the right track. 

I guess I'll see where this goes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BEDIA #17: The Lord of the Rings

I love The Lord of the Rings. I've been reading the trilogy (and The Hobbit) over and over for as long as I can remember. I just find the whole story so intriguing. It mesmerizes me. I'll admit that I prefer The Hobbit, but it's only by a little.

I love the movies as well. After the third came out on DVD, I went through and watched the series through. Not all in one sitting, but withing a week. I had read the series just prior to this viewing. After this experience I decided that I was fairly comfortable with most of the changes that had been made. I get that you can't translate a book to the movie screen page for page, word for word. It just wouldn't work. I think there were a couple changes that didn't work for me, but it's been long enough that I can't remember what they were.

Whenever I have a project that requires a great deal of attention, I like to put the appendices to the LOTR movies into the DVD player and just let it play in the background as I work. These appendices came with the 4-disc extended editions of the films.

Today as I work on another project, I have the appendices playing. As always, I'm amazed by the planning that went into the movies. The storyboards, the script, the creation of the world the movies exist in. It's mind-boggling. The amount of thought and imagination that went into the movie trilogy is amazing. 

Even more amazing is the passion that those involved had for the project. All the principle movers and shakers were huge, huge fans of the books. Even some of the principle actors were fans. Christopher Lee in particular was the one cast member that other actors went to if they had any questions. He was the only member of the cast who had actually met Tolkien.

When the first film was released, I went to see it with a couple friends of mine. I was so enthralled with what was happening on film that I only moved once during the film. I was frozen in place. I get emotional at places in the film. 

Even now, watching the "behind the scenes" featurettes, I get a little emotional. I feel they are great movies, inspired by amazing books.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

BEDIA #16: My Computer

My laptop has put up with some serious use. My last laptop lasted about 4 years before it was just too much of a dinosaur to deal with anymore. 

My current laptop isn't a dinosaur, it's just having some physical issues. It has three USB ports; two on one side, near the DVD drive, one on the other side. The two by the drive have this problem where they collapse into the computer, so that if you try to plug any sort of USB into them, they push further back. I have a multi USB attachment on the other side, but I like to have use of all my ports, because sometimes I need all of them.

I fixed this problem once before, and I can do it again, I just wish I didn't have to.

And I certainly don't want to shop for a new computer. It's not necessary and I can't afford it anyway.

Stupid technology.


Friday, August 17, 2012

BEDIA #15: The Job Hunt

I'm pretty sure that most people dislike hunting for jobs. It's a tortuous process that lends itself well to causing all sorts of stress.

Here's why it's particularly hard for me. 

I'm an introvert with some self esteem issues. 

As an introvert, I find it very difficult to promote myself. I don't like to say "Pick me! Pick me!" and that's exactly what a job hunt is. I also tend to downplay my own accomplishments. That's not a good thing when you want to convince someone to hire you.

After making the effort to promote myself and try to convince people to hire me, I feel very vulnerable. So if I don't get the job, it hurts my self image. 

So job hunts are bad for me. I've been having some success, at least a couple interviews, but I'm beginning to feel the pressure of needing to have a job so I can have some income. 

Almost to the point of applying for a food service job. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

BAEDIA #14: Not Quite There...

So I've missed two days of writing so far in August. I think I'll stick with the original acronym BEDIA if only because it's more aesthetically pleasing that BAEDIA, which stands for Blog Almost Every Day In August. 

I don't even have any good reasons to have missed those days, other than I was out with my wife and completely forgot to blog. Both times. 

Today's is going to be very short. I've misplaced my Kindle. It's inside of Misery by Stephen King. I have no idea where I left it. That disturbs me just a little bit. 

I hate losing things, especially things I really like.

So I'm going to go look for it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BEDIA #13: Getting My Craft On

Last year, before traveling to Korea, I bought a Kindle. Of course, with my luck, I bought one just before Amazon revamped the line, drastically reducing prices on the model I bought. Oh well, that's just how it works. 

Anyway, I also purchased a case for my Kindle, but it didn't protect the gadget as well as I had hoped. I couldn't stuff it in a backpack because the case didn't protect from pressure. Something had to change.

So I made my own case out of a used book I was never going to read. I was excited for the case and I truly appreciated the irony of putting an e-reader inside of an actual book.

When I got back to the USA, I noticed that my hand-made case was not working as well anymore. The velcro I used to hold the Kindle inside the space wasn't fastening anymore. I needed a new case. Or new velcro, I guess, but I decided to make a new case anyway.

While shopping at the local used book store, I looked at several books to determine their suitability. I didn't love most of them. Either the dimensions weren't right, or I didn't like the color of the cover inside the dust jacket. Finally I found one I really liked that also worked thematically for my purpose: Misery by Stephen King. Inside the dust jacket, the book is black and grey, with metallic read letters on the spine. It also has a metallic red "SK" on the front cover.

I took the book home and started my project. The first step was to glue the pages together. This is easier than it sounds. All I did was mix Elmer's glue with water, probably 60 to 40 percent. Then I painted the edges of the closed book pages. After placing the dust jacket between the glued section and the first couple pages, I closed the cover and stack several books on top. 

After the pages dried, I traced the Kindle on the top glued page. I started cutting out the pages with a utility blade. I cut down far enough that the Kindle would fit inside. After the cutting was done, I applied the glue mixture to the inside, then let it dry again. 

Using hot glue, I attached a strip of elastic to the inside of the front cover so the book won't flop open when I don't want it to. After that the case was finished.

I really like it, but I'm already thinking of improvements for the next one I make.


Monday, August 13, 2012

BEDIA #12 Lunches with Denny and Lloyd

When I'm in Cedar City I like to have lunch (or dinner) with two friends: Denny and Lloyd. We meet at the bowling alley here and eat. Trust me, the food's really quite good. We get together at least once a month, if not more often.

I enjoy the food, of course, but even more important is what we talk about.

We discuss our writing. We talk about the projects we're working on. We talk about the struggles we're having with a particular story. We talk about cool ideas we came up with.

The nice part about discussing these ideas is that we get to see if the ideas are really good or just good inside our heads. Plus we give each other suggestions and ideas to make the ideas even better.

One thing we're planning on doing is workshopping drafts of our stories. This may make the lunches (dinners) last longer, but I think it will be worth it. Every writer needs someone to read what he is writing. I mean, what is the point of writing if no one is going to read the story. Second, fresh perspectives are essential for any good story. I know the story in my head. I know the backstory of the characters, I know what they want and what they don't like. Having someone read my story lets me see if I managed to convey the story effectively on paper. It lets me know if the words I chose were sufficient. And it lets me know if the story really needs to be rewritten. 

I'm looking forward to workshopping with Denny and Lloyd. They're both great writers and help me be better myself. We work well together, see different aspects of story.

Plus we laugh a lot. It's a good thing for me to do. I can't wait for the next one. Think I'll have to set it up.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

BEDIA #11 Whoops!

So, a couple months ago I got an email from, which is website for geeks to find other geeks to date. 

This email said that I had received a message from someone who was interested in my profile. I'm betting you can figure out what the problem with this email was. Yep. I'm married and I forgot to delete my profile from the site.

I sent a return message to the poor girl, explaining that I was married and that I had forgotten to take care of the dating site issue. Then I sent an email to the site administrators, asking them to delete my profile and why.

I was rather embarrassed by the email. It was weird and awkward and something I hope never happens again. 

But now I find the incident a little amusing, though I feel bad for the woman who contacted me. It's a horrible thing to build up the courage to send a message to a guy you find on a website then to have him tell you, "Sorry, I'm married." That's just depressing so I hope she's ok. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

BEDIA #10: Verbal Agreement With My Wife...

Don't worry, it's nothing scary.

Chelsea likes dogs. I'm not such a fan. I get along with them just fine, they're just a little needy for my tastes. I guess that's why I like Ojo as much as I do; he's pretty self-sufficient for the most part. If he wants attention and you don't immediately respond, he'll just rub his face on your leg and be just fine. Kind of like a cat.

I'm more of a cat person, and Chelsea just doesn't like them very much. 

So we made an agreement. I could have a cat if she could get a breed of dog she really likes. The breed? Cane Corso. If you look that breed up you'll notice that what she really wants is a slobbery pony. And she wants it to be a house dog. 

I'll be ok with that dog because I get to have my cat. 

I would have been happy with any short hair cat. Recently I found the kind of cat I really want. They're called Munchkin Cats. Why? Well, they have really, really short legs. They're the wiener dogs of the cat world. Unlike the wiener dog, they don't really have any health issues because the short legs are the result of a natural mutation. Here's a picture:

Cute, right? I think it would be awesome to get a Munchkin Cat with Scottish fold ears. Those are the ears that fold up right against the cat's head. Apparently you can't mate two Munchkin cats and get a Munchkin litter. No, that litter would turn out normal. But when you mate the Munchkin with a regular cat, half to all of the litter will be Munchkin. 

According to what I've read, Munchkins are friendly and easy going and keep a lot of the good kitten qualities. I hope to find one to adopt when we're ready for a cat. 


Friday, August 10, 2012

BEDIA #9: Jeff Noon

Jeff Noon is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I really enjoy reading his books. I guess this opinion could change, as I have several of his books left to read, but so far I have a very favorable opinion of them.

Noon writes Speculative Fiction (the Literature Class term for Science Fiction) mixed with fantasy. I read an article somewhere that described his writing as "Psychedelic Science Fiction." I rather like that description.

My introduction to Jeff Noon came when I read Nymphomation. If I remember right, this was a book about a group of mathematicians who invented a way for information and numbers to grow and reproduce, which produces radical new information. It's hard to describe the plot, but it's a wonderful place in which to get lost.

While in Korea I read Automated Alice, which was a trequel to the first two Alice books, written as if Lewis Carroll had written a third book where Alice travels to the future through a grandfather clock. It was as trippy and non-sensical as the previous Alice books. 

I just finished a collection of short stories called Pixel Juice. While I didn't like each story in the collection, it was a great thing for me to read, as reading this book lead to many new story ideas that I hope to develop in the near future.

The way Jeff Noon describes colors and sensations is almost intoxicating. I've never tried drugs, but reading his books is the closest I've been to tripping out on some illicit substance. It was a fun adventure, but not one I'm anxious to repeat physically.

Next on my Jeff Noon reading list is Vurt, a novel about getting high by sucking on feathers of different colors. I can't wait to read it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

BEDIA #8 Getting a Dog

I've mentioned our dog a couple times. Ojo is his name. Well, now it is anyway...but I'm getting ahead of myself.

After I made a trip to Denver from Seoul for my sister's wedding, Chelsea told me she wanted to get a dog. We had discussed getting a dog in the future, when we had the space for it, because to be honest, Chelsea wants a horse-sized dog. 

I thought about it, and, as we had decided to stay in Korea until November, I figured it was worth the effort to get a dog, get it adjusted to our apartment at the Village, then uproot it and take it to the States.

Chelsea and I started browsing an animal rescue website. It included profiles and updates and listed whether or not the dog was up to date on its vaccinations. We both rather liked a little dog named Bubbles (we both hated the name), but he ended up going home with a couple that sent an email inquiry before we did. 

That was a bummer, but we kept looking. We saw a little dog that looked like he had a cute personality. His name was Eun Chong, and he lived in DaeJeon. He had had his bark removed, but had a rep for trying to bark anyway. We felt it was cruel to remove a bark and something we would never do, but we figured it would be a bonus for us. 

Chelsea sent a message to the animal shelter and we planned a trip to DaeJeon, which is a story of its own. We stayed the weekend, but never heard from the animal shelter. 

Chelsea found a third little dog named Harry. I wasn't sold from his profile, but Chelsea wanted to arrange a meeting. I was ok with that, so off we went to Seoul.

It was obvious from the first few minutes that Harry wasn't a regular dog. He was more interested in wandering than hanging out with us. It was also obvious that everybody liked this little dog. Schoolkids stopped to pet him. Adults did the same. He was patient with them, but would wander off when he was done with the attention. 

After our visit, we went back to the Village and discussed what we thought. We both liked the dog, but thought the name had to go. We decided to adopt him and changed his name to Ojo, though we couldn't bear to break the news to his foster-lady.

After taking him home, we started noticing some quirks. He walks into table legs. He always turns around counter-clockwise. It took him four months to bark, and then it was at the thunder, which is his Mortal Enemy. He didn't know how to do stairs, and still struggles with them. And he has many cat-like tendencies.

Getting him back to the States was an adventure, but that's another story.

Watching Chelsea sleep. He actually almost tried to join her on the loveseat.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

BEDIA#7 Seoul Tower

Hmm, my dashboard says that I just passed ten thousand page views. Thanks for reading!

When Chelsea's parents visited us in South Korea, we tried to think of all the cool, tourist-y things that we could do with them. One of the things we decided on was to visit Seoul Tower. 

Seoul Tower is a rather famous landmark. You can see it from just about anywhere in Seoul due to both its height and it's location on one of the taller hills in the area. 

We traveled the subway to the correct spot then started looking for the cable-car landing. After wandering a ways and hiking up some steep streets we finally found what we were looking for. We had to stand in line and wait to be able to ride the cable-car up to the grounds the Tower actually stands on. It took a while, but we lucked out and were at the front of the line when our car arrived. We took up positions at the front of the car. 

I'm afraid of heights and it made me weak to see the ground fall farther and farther away, knowing that I was suspended underneath a cable in a basket crammed with people. If the cable gave out, there was no way we would live. 

Obviously we didn't have any problems. 

It was kind of a hazy day in Seoul. From the top of the hill we could see most of the city, obscured by the haze. While Chelsea and her parents decided to look into riding to the top of the tower, I had had enough of heights for the day and wanted to stay at the base of the tower. There was plenty to see. 

On top of the height issue, a singer/musician was setting up to play some music from the Andes and I wanted to listen. I chatted a bit with him as he was waiting for his start time. Turns out he was from Lima, Peru. I didn't have a chance to ask why he was in Korea, as he was almost ready to start playing and singing. 

It was rather comforting to find a little bit of Peru in Korea. I liked his music so much that I bought two of his CDs. He signed both. His name is Rafael Molina. I don't know his maternal last name. Super nice guy and a great musician. 


Monday, August 6, 2012

BEDIA #6 The Search for a Job...

I know, I know. I was supposed to write the second half of the story of my trip to the DMZ. I'm really just not feeling that topic right now, you know? So I'm going back to a planned topic that I skipped before, because I feel like writing about this tonight.

I hate job-hunting. The reason I stick with the jobs I get, even when I'm not exactly happy in those jobs, is because I hate the process of hunting for a job. I don't like putting myself on the line and getting rejected. It can be damaging sometimes, especially when I feel like a job is perfect for me and vice versa. 

I've been applying for all sorts of teller jobs with different financial institutions. I have banking experience and I'm fluent in Spanish, so I feel I'm a good fit. The process is pretty glacial though, so I have to keep looking for other options. 

What's been bugging me is that a lot of the application websites these companies run make me jump through annoying hoops. They give me the option to upload a resume. I take the time to customize a resume for the particular type of job for which I'm applying. Then I upload the resume only to find that I still have to fill out a job application, complete with job history and references, which are included in my resume. 

It's frustrating. If you want a more complete view of what I've done in the past, ask me to bring a list to the interview. That's just fine. Don't have me create a resume then make me fill out an application. It's redundant.

So that's my rant for the evening. I can't wait to see what tomorrow's topic is. If it's a boring one, I'll probably finish the DMZ report. 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

BEDIA #5 The DMZ...

Visiting the DMZ was a rather surreal experience. Where we were living in Korea we could see North Korea without making much of an effort. It was right there.

To take a tour to the DMZ, we had to take the bus to Seoul, about forty-five minutes to the south. Once we found our tour bus, we traveled back north past where we had originally left, then on to the tour stops. 

There are many rules and regulations to visit the DMZ. One of those rules covers what you are allowed to wear. However, North Korea changes what they will allow frequently and it makes getting dressed in the morning an adventure. Just make sure you're wearing pants and a shirt with buttons and no logos and you should be ok. 

One of the first stops we made on the tour was the third incursion tunnel. This was a tunnel North Korea dug to try and sneak past the DMZ and launch a sneak attack on Seoul. Of course North Korea claims that it was a tunnel dug by South Korea. They're predictable that way. Once at the area around the tunnel, the tour guide led my group in to a theater where we watched a short video on the history of the tunnel. If I remember right, there are a total of five tunnels that were dug in an attempt to bypass the border security.  After the video we were led over to the access tunnel. After donning a hard hat (very necessary, trust me), we were led down the access tunnel. This tunnel was about 400 feet long and descended at almost 45 degrees. It was steep! At the bottom, the guide spouted off some facts I don't remember, then allowed us to head into the incursion tunnel. 

I had to walk hunched over to keep from smacking my head on the ceiling. There were spaces occasionally that were tall enough to let me stand up and rest my back. Chelsea and her parents eventually gave up and headed back to the access tunnel so they would have enough time to walk back up before our bus left. I wanted to see the Underground Border. There was a line waiting to look through the small window. 

In the wall was an archway walling off the tunnel. A one foot square peephole was installed in the wall. I had to look through from about 4 feet back because there was a roll of razor wire across the floor of the tunnel. To keep tourists from cutting themselves on the wire there were red Christmas lights wrapped with the razor wire. To the right of the peephole was a small access door, bolted shut and padlocked a couple times. Looking into the peephole I could see the wall on the North Side. It had a larger "window" and a door. The space between the two walls looked to be about 15 feet long. It was lit by a greenish light. I wondered what sort of contracts had to be drawn up to allow one of the soldiers to go in and change the lightbulb when it burned out.

Tomorrow I'll write about the last train station heading North and the Joint Security Area.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

BEDIA #4: The Simple Pleasures

Here's where my way of doing this Blog Every Day In August really works out for me. I had scheduled myself to write about my efforts to find a job. That's an important topic for me and one I would normally be glad to explore. 

The other day I came up with a wonderful idea for a blog post, so I'm going to use it here. The idea? Well, it's in the title. I want to explore and explain some of the little things that I find very pleasurable.

I love popping bubble wrap. I'm not really sure why. I like it so much that I'm disappointed when something fragile comes wrapped in something other than bubble wrap. When I start popping the little bubbles, my body releases all sorts of endorphins and makes me happy. If I'm having a bad day, popping bubble wrap can turn the day completely around.

Along those lines, I really enjoy popping my zits. Especially when it explodes and sends the goo into the mirror, blemishing my reflection. I clean the mirror after, of course. If I pop a zit and it doesn't launch a projectile, I'm rather disappointed.

I don't like getting sunburned. It tends to be painful for an extended period of time. I do, however, enjoy the aftermath. I love it when a sunburn starts peeling. I get so much enjoyment out of peeling the dead skin off, going carefully to peel as large a piece as possible. I don't even mind when I peel the skin to far and expose skin that isn't ready to be exposed yet. 

The previous two make my eczema a joyful pain. It's a skin condition that gets worse with stress. It starts with tiny bubbles under the skin. Once these bubbles dry, they leave flaky, peeling skin behind. So there are bubbles I can pop and skin I can peel, all with the same condition? Perfect for me. 

I love getting into a bed made with freshly laundered sheets. If the sheets are cold, it's even better.

I love getting my hair cut, as long as the stylist doesn't talk to me. That's one of the most relaxing activities I do. Well, did, as I shave my head now.

I like standing in the rain without an umbrella. I love the smell of rain in Utah. It's different here than anywhere else I've been. When it rains I also love being inside, listening to the sound of the rain on the room. I like sitting near a window and reading a book while it rains.

I love eating ice cream in the middle of winter.

I love the scent of a book when I open it to read.

What are some of your simple pleasures?


Friday, August 3, 2012

BEDIA #3 Leaving Korea

It's a little surprising that I'm sitting in an apartment in Cedar City right now. I watch the Olympics as much as possible while searching for job openings on the internet. It sounds normal enough, but as recently as the end of May I was planning on staying in Korea until the end of October.

Teaching English in South Korea was a great opportunity. There was no rent to pay and Chelsea and I were each making a first-year teacher's salary. We enjoyed our jobs, for the most part, and we enjoyed our fellow teachers.

So what changed? Well, there were several factors. Poor decisions on the part of the administration of the English Village had caused the working conditions to go steadily downhill. The head teachers were trying to make things better, but weren't succeeding, mostly because they were mostly just saying "Yes" to whatever admin said. Due to a change in supervisor, Chelsea was dreading her job most days. And to top it off, my mother needed to have her hip replaced by the end of June, which meant my father would have to go into a care center for a while, as she could not take care of him while convalescing. 

Admin had dropped the ball and not had us sign contracts for the time we were planning to stay, so we told the HR guy that we would be ending our contracts on the original date, July 8. He asked if we could stay longer, even just to the end of July, but, citing my parents respective conditions, we said we couldn't.  That decision started a whirlwind of preparations. I had to open my position to election with enough time to train my replacement. Suitcases  had to be packed. Extra items shipped (literally, the six boxes sent home will arrive in October, roughly, as they were sent super-cheap by boat). We had to present our top three choices for flights to Admin so they would buy our tickets as specified in the contract. Once we had our tickets (straight from Seoul to Las Vegas!) we had to buy a ticket for our dog. We had to arrange to get our pensions. And much more. So much to do, while still working full time.

As word spread that we were leaving, we were approached by many teachers saying they wished we weren't going. I had joined an A Cappella group that was devastated by my impending departure as it left them with one bass voice. As we explained why we were going (my parents were the primary reason), people wished us the best. 

Coming home when we did has been a great decision. Chelsea found out she needed four semesters instead of three to finish her teaching degree. Now she can start in August. We got into a really good apartment. Chelsea got her old job back. 

As far as the English Village goes, I think we escaped just in time. All teachers are now required to work 9AM to 9PM two days a week, as admin oversold the programs and has not hired enough teachers to meet the need. Two foreign (non-Korean) teachers were fired because, well, it's a long story. Suffice to say it was not justified and proved to all other teachers that administration will not stand by their employees, even when the employee did nothing wrong. Everyone there is scrambling to make ends meet and try to make the best of it. I wish them the best, but I feel my early departure was fortuitous. 

In spite of the stress of moving across the Pacific and trying to find a job, I am glad to be back. I like where I am right now and I have high hopes for the future. Plus, I get to watch the Olympics while I search the internet for jobs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

BEDIA #2 The Olympics

Wouldn't you know it: Day Two of a month-long personal challenge and I have a day where I just do not feel like writing a post of any sort. I'm going to anyway. Take that, Stupid Feelings of Not Wanting to Write.

So, the Olympics have been running for almost a week now. I love watching the Olympics. It brings out all my feelings of patriotism and pride in my country. 

I remember when I was a kid that I hated when the Olympic year came around. It was a big year. Leap Year. Winter and Summer Olympics. Presidential Election. Lots of stuff happening. The Olympics irritated me, even though we watched the events as a family. I didn't like the Olympics because they messed with my cartoon viewing schedule. Although it seems alien now, back then each channel had its own selection of morning and afternoon cartoons. The Olympics happening threw off my viewing schedule. 

In 1996 I was serving a mission for my church in Peru. I was about halfway through my first month when the Summer Olympics started. I was still adjusting to the food I was eating and had spent the entire day trying to convince my stomach to accept some broth. When the evening arrived, I felt like I was going to vomit. I managed to communicate this to my companion, who spoke no English, so he said we could sit in a church member's house for a little bit until I felt better. This church member wanted to make us feel at home, so (He? She? I can't remember. I'll stick with he.) he rolled out his TV and turned on the Opening Ceremonies, because this was something happening in my home country. It was an amazing opening. It was the first chance that I (and the world) got to hear John Williams' amazing "Summon the Heroes." It was an achingly beautiful song that made me cry. It's still one of my favorite instrumental pieces. About forty five minutes in, I ran downstairs to the toilet and puked my guts out. I felt two hundred times better after that, so my companion and I left and went to fulfill some appointments we had. A couple weeks later I got to watch the Closing Ceremonies too, quite by chance. 

Four years ago  I had just moved from Mesa, AZ to Springville, UT. I didn't have a job, or an apartment, but my sister was kind enough to let me live with her family until I got things figured out. As I was job-searching, I had plenty of time on my hands to watch all the televised events with my sister and whoever else was at home. My sister and I would stay up until 3AM watching the late, late events from Beijing. It was a fun time that brought us closer together.

Now I'm searching for a job again and enjoying the London Games. It has been a lot of fun and very emotional for me. The kid I was way back when would never have believed that he would enjoy the Olympics as much as I do now.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

To Blog Every Day in August...

I'm calling it BEDIA. 

This is an inherited idea. A friend of mine, Brandon, did this in May. He got the idea from a friend of his. 

When I read that Brandon was going to blog every day in May, I thought it was a fun idea. It seemed like a lot of work, but that it might come with many rewards. My only concern was the content. I didn't want to have days where I was blogging just to keep with the goal. I wanted to make sure I had something to say.

So I started writing down blog ideas. I was super-busy at work and with life, so I wasn't dedicating much time to blogging. It just wasn't a priority. So every time I had an idea I thought worth pursuing in a blog I would write it down.

Now I'm ready. I have ideas for each day. I've even written out a calendar of what I'll write. I'm not going to keep myself chained to those ideas; if I have a better idea one day, I'll pursue that. However, this way I have something to say every day.

It won't be boring. At least I hope it won't be.

As for why I want to do this, well, I need to develop better writing habits. Blogging every day will help me warm up for the writing I want to do. It will help me relax into the writing process. Most importantly, it will help me come up with ideas for stories and essays and poems. Writing helps me get ideas for more writing. I don't know if it's the same for other writers, but I would imagine that it is.

So there you go. I'm going to blog every day this month. I'm looking forward to it and I hope I write something you enjoy reading. If it goes well, I may make this a regular feature. Not every month, but maybe every quarter? Or twice a year, that's do-able.