Random Update

[I’ll randomly update from time to time even when nothing big has happened and I have nothing special to say. If you want to have even a modestly popular blog, I was once told, you have to be prolific. After five years at my previous blog, I had less than 50 subscribers.* It’s not in my nature, but I can try.]

This morning, I took the motorcycle out to Yongsan Electronics Market. I had to pick up my laptop and I was itching to try out the SJ4000 I had picked up to serve as a black box when I’m on the bike.** My computer was at the Asus service center because I had spilled a couple of drops of coffee on the keyboard and my UP key stopped working. I had taken it apart and tried rinsing the affected area with distilled water (as I read on an internet forum), but nothing had worked. I had to shell out 50,000 won to get the keyboard replaced.

A couple of days ago, I asked my students what was something they couldn’t do without. Almost everyone said, “My phone.” For me, it’s my computer. I can do without my phone. I’m not a terribly social person and go most days without getting a phone call or text message. I can’t do without my laptop. Without my laptop, I can’t write. I’m worthless unless all of the conditions are perfect, and my computer is one of those conditions.

After stopping by Shinchon to have lunch and coffee, I got back on the bike and rode to the Hankyoreh office near Gongdeok to give an interview for the book. It’s an interesting building from the outside, but the interior looks the same as every other Korean office I’ve been in—dingy and stale and oppressive. The interviewer thankfully took me up to the roof-top patio for the interview. When we headed back in, I saw the Korean John Lennon. The interviewer thought the same thing. I wonder if Koreans think the same thing when they see him.

Image taken from the website of The Dong-A Ilbo, another newspaper in Korea. The title of the page was, “Do you think the look of the new headquarters office of the Hankyoreh is okay or bleh?” [Very loose translation]

Most of the questions were centered on how I ended up in the Army—which only accounts for the preface—but I guess it’s the angle that’s newsworthy. One positive thing is that the interviewer assured me that he wouldn’t make me sound like a complete idiot, something that has happened to me before, in a news article from long, long ago. “Probably sometime next week,” he answered when I asked when the article will be published.

As I was exiting the building, I noticed that the shoulders of the people entering the building were dappled with rain spots. Great. Just great. It wasn’t too bad when I left, but it got really bad by the time I got to the overpass leading to Samgakji. This is why I can’t sell my car, I thought as I got drenched at the intersection, soaked down to my boxer-briefs.

While I was sitting at the Twosome Place in Shinchon, I got an e-mail from another online magazine that is interested in doing a book review and interview and possibly a podcast. It’s the second one this week. I can’t remember if I sent a press release to them or not. I’ve sent out so many of them it’s hard to keep track.

I’m sitting in my Twosome Place now. The Twosome Place near my apartment is my Twosome Place for now, at least until I move at the end of the month. The “my” in the previous sentences doesn’t indicate possession but possessiveness. I always feel a strong affection for my coffee shops because I spend so much time in them. It’s raining heavily outside. I changed my pants before I came here, but my pant legs are wet because Korea’s anti-smoking laws are oppressing me, forcing me out into the rain. It was a decent day today, but the rain is making me feel melancholic.

I guess that’s it for today. I have some editing work to get done, and I want to send out at least a couple of press releases before the day is done.

* I almost wrote “followers.” Blech. Jesus had followers. Muhammad had followers. Buddha had followers. “People who follow you” are just people who clicked a button and sometimes read what you write if they’re really bored.

** I believe that, along with a helmet, some sort of recording device is a necessity if you plan on riding in Seoul. I bought my first one before I was even discharged from the hospital. I bought it because the guy who hit me and broke my leg into several pieces initially told the police I was at fault. He later confessed after my uncle browbeat him and he saw how beat up I was in the hospital. The first black box was a piece of shit that only held a charge for about ten minutes. The SJ4000 is a Chinese knock-off of the GoPro, but the reviews are really good.

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4 Responses to Random Update

  1. bighominid says:

    I’ll be looking forward to the Hani link.

    My own addiction to writing is so bad that, if I’m deprived of a desktop or laptop, I’ll slip into a PC-bang with no compunction. Like you, though, I can probably do fine without my phone. Smartphones are a late addition to my consciousness, not a sentimental fixture from childhood, which makes them easy to part with.


    • Young says:

      You have it worse than I do. I really don’t like going to PC-bangs and will just lie around the house, feeling frustrated and miserable. I’m actually on my phone a lot, but everything I use it for is meaningless. If I forget it at home, I don’t break out in a sweat or get the shakes. I can spend a whole day at the coffee shop with my computer. I can only spend maybe thirty minutes at one with just my phone.

      I think you’re completely right about the childhood connection thing; I never really used a cell phone until I was in graduate school. (I had one the year before I went to the Army, but everyone I knew I saw on a daily basis.) But I’d rather think it’s because I’m crazy than because of my age. I’ve never liked using the phone, with or without the cord. It’s almost phobia-level, and it’s also related to my childhood. Kids these days don’t know what it’s like to call a girl’s home phone number and not know who’s going to pick up, which is especially bad when you have social anxiety and a slight speech impediment.


  2. Hey, I just left a longish comment but WordPress didn’t like the password I was using. By the time I got it reset the comment was not to be found. Ah well. To recap I said I actually enjoy “random” posts like this one, so keep them coming. Also, I suspect you have more readers than you imagine. Blog readers are stealthy bastards. I run into random people on a semi-regular who purport to read my blog.


    • Young says:

      John, I’m all too familiar with what happened to you. I’ve gotten so paranoid, I always Ctrl+C everything before I press the Comment button. I’ll try to keep the random posts coming, but my days are by and large the same. I’ll post when I can, though. (I’ve actually never run into anyone who has read my blog aside from my friends.)


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