Welcome

I guess you are here because you have discovered one of my books and enjoyed it enough to find out more about the author, me. Either that or you’re a potential employer who is investigating me to see if I would be a good fit for your organization. In which case, surprise, I write books as well as teach. Some might look at that as a bad thing, and if so, please explain to me how.

For whoever finds my site, I want to welcome you, and also allow you the opportunity to follow me on a regular basis. Anybody is welcome as long as you keep your posts appropriate, and respect the other followers to this site. As long as everybody follows those two simple rules, I won’t have to kick anybody off. Let the friendly banter begin.

I am hoping to create an interactive site that everybody can enjoy. Of course, I will keep you up to date on the latest writings coming out of my head, and I will also let you know when and where I will be in the world, so someday you might be able to meet me in person. Most people regret that decision, but who knows, maybe you’ll be in the minority.

I will also tell you about my world-wide travels as this is something I do on a regular basis. I’ll show you pictures from places I have been (this one is from Dubrovnik, better known to fans of The Song of Ice and Fire as King’s Landing), and tell you the exciting stories that happen to me along the way. You are also welcome to ask me any questions you may have about the place I have been, and I will try to answer them in a timely manner.

I know it all sounds amazing, and I can see you wondering why you haven’t been a part of this fantastic experience so far, but let me tell you about the most exciting part of following this site – the interactive part.  You were probably wondering when I would get to that part I had promised you earlier. Well, I plan to create a list every month, and I want you to participate in its formation. I do love countdowns, but I am always disappointed in them. So I have decided to take matters into my own hands. You will be able to post your top ten of each monthly list and at the end of each month, I will comprise the total list to give you the countdown for that subject. Look for each new subject on the first day of each month, and the final list of the previous month by the fifteenth.

Otherwise, it is very nice to have you a part of this experience, and I look forward to all of our future posts together.

Modern Negotiations

How can I be wrong when I’m always Right?
The problem comes with what is Left behind
After the compromise that comes from a fight,
Leaving the country direction that’s blind.
So I will act like an oak in strong wind,
I will stand tall on top of my lone hill,
And against the tumult, I will not bend,
No matter how much it brings about ill.
So you will begin to see things my way,
Giving me what I deem is Right for all.
Politics is the game I want to play,
Leaving in my wake, what is Left to fall.
I know that my legacy is at stake,
But I will never waver, only break.

Golden Idols

Are we required to take the same leap,
In a land that claims freedom from such things?
But in a flock full of minded sheep,
The melodies that everyone sings
Must be bleating just like the one grazing
Next to you in the supple field of grass.
Shepherds will consider it amazing
That not one in their flock will be so cross
As to go off and try it on their own
Instead of emulating their neighbor.
For we must all pray to the same carved stone
Just like they have forced us to do before.
Does our faith come from an accurate voice
When our kind leaders take away our choice?

The Glow from the View in the Elements

I will not let the distance get between
The celebration I can have with you.
I will battle to make it to that scene
Where we can toast all that we have been through.
Not even the nastiest of weather
Will deter me from my ultimate goal.
It does not make the trek any further.
Though my ambition I believe it stole,
It only gives me a greater resolve
To plow ahead through the gathering snow.
Any problem you throw my way, I’ll solve.
My way is lighted by the party’s glow.
There is nothing like the final greeting
When it’s your family you are meeting.

Amusing Ourselves

“What would happen if your iPad was lost
And you had to find fun without a screen?”

“I would never let the item be tossed
Because I am attracted to its sheen.”

“But there is so much beyond that device
And you could live within reality.”

“I do not wish to have to pay the price
Of interaction with society.”

“Do you really think people are that bad
That you would prefer a video land?”

“I can always change to the latest fad
If my friends get a little out of hand.”

“Do electronics really make you glad?”

“Please stop this talk ’cause I love my iPad.”

The Fence

What is this fence between me and my fun?
What makes the players on the other side
Think that they reside on another sun
Where my kind won’t be allowed to abide?
Seeing them over there, getting their pets
Makes me ask why there are none over here.
This skinny line divides where the sun sets,
But the difference it creates is clear.
That is the land of opportunity
That likes to hold back from the land of none.
They believe in their superiority
Belongs to the history of their gun.
So I will just stand here and stare across
At the land of plenty which is my loss.

The Last Semester

It is already a tiring race
With many of the miles behind me.
I have kept up a strong and steady pace
And have moved through the pack expertly.
But as I know the end is within sight
And I think of the pain I have endured,
I begin to grow weary of this fight
With all its endurance that has been purged.
As my gaze ventured to the oasis
That shines brightly beyond the finish line,
I wish to join the tropical bliss
And the people drinking it fruity wine.
But I need to quit raging such a fuss
For it does nothing but kill my focus.

The North Seoul Tower – Itaewon Day 3

If you look over the stores and restaurants in Itaewon, you can see one of Seoul’s most iconic structures, the North Seoul Tower. It stands on one of the mountains that surrounds the city and looks over the action from all of its neighborhoods. During the four years I have lived here, I have seen this needle guarding the city, and I have always talked about eventually making it up there one day. I waited until yesterday to finally make that dream become a reality, and I discovered that after all of the palaces and the Buddhist temples, and tall buildings I have been to while out here, that this is, by far, the most touristy thing that I have visited in Seoul.

Getting to the tower is not that difficult. You just take subway to the Myeongdong Station, and get out through exit three. Find the Pacific Hotel, and take the road to the right of it up the hill, and you will eventually find the mountain that the tower is on. There are two ways up the mountain, you can take the stairs up or you can take a cable car. I took the cable car, and I would recommend taking the stairs.

I went to the tower yesterday because I thought that a lot of Koreans would be at home preparing for the Lunar New Year holiday so it would not be that busy, and this might have been the case. It was still really busy though, except not with Koreans. Apparently when people from South-East Asia celebrate this holiday, they decide to go the touristy thing in Seoul. February is not the best time to be in Seoul. It is really cold, and there are no leaves on the trees. Yet they were all here anyways. We stood in line for twenty minutes to buy tickets to stand in another line for forty minutes to get on a cable car that was way overpacked with people to take a ride up a hill to see the views from up top. It would have taken fifteen to twenty minutes just to take the stairs up to the top, and the exercise would have been worth it.

Once up there, the views were really worth it. The North Seoul Tower sits in the perfect spot to walk around and see all the different nooks and crannies of the city. There are also a lot of fun things to do that highlight the Korean culture, from looking at old structures from the Joseon Dynasty to a lot of booths that teach people how to play the traditional games from tuho to yunnori. There were plenty of things to keep me occupied up there.

Of course, it is also a big tourist destination, so there are a lot of companies that wish to take advantage of this fact. There are plenty of restaurants to eat at, and a couple of bars as well. There are numerous statues of Korea’s favorite cartoon characters so they can take pictures of them with their children. And of course there is a whole wall dedicated to love locks. This tradition that started in Paris has found its way all around the world. Young lovers will buy a lock and attach it to this wall then throw away the key. The idea is that the lock represents their love, and by throwing away the key then their love will always be eternal. It is a romantic idea, but it loses its power when their is a vending machine selling locks, and everybody believes that they have to do it. The idea starts to drift over to that love of capitalism idea instead.

Despite it obvious tourist appeal, visiting the North Seoul Tower was worth the adventure, and I am glad that I took the time to go out and do it while I am still living out here.