‘Beauty & The Blogger’

‘Beauty & The Blogger’

… but don’t think influencing is something to be proud of.

-Bill Maher

(Real Time with Bill Maher, Season 17; Episode 8, 15 March 2019)

 

Imagine with me, will you?, the world in which you live. Perhaps when is the future. Perhaps when is the now. Either way, you plop down in front of a screen, and you scroll through YouTube or VidTube or YouVid, you get the point. You flip through a handful of your go-to channels, and then you browse a bit to see if there’s anything new left to discover. And then, you inevitably end up on the channel of an influencer. You watch this person entertain you with funny, educational, fun, beautiful life. You watch as this person either does a workout or performs some skill or teaches you something cool or shows you something cool or takes you along on some journey or slathers their face in makeup so that they may court jester you through the world of the elite.

The worst of these influencers, to me, are of the beauty variety. And a middle-of-the-road example would be Jenn Im, the beloved, adorable, cute, airy, uplifting, good-vibes-only, Korean-American, beauty influencer. Im runs a strong YouTube channel, has her own hype-clothing brand, collabs—seemingly endlessly—with all sorts of brands, all around the world. She’s living the dream, right? Unfortunately, not so much. The reality of the influencer market is that they are the future middle class.

If you cannot “make it” without a “job” (meaning, if you are incapable of creating work for yourself), you will not, unfortunately, make it very far into the future. Consider how much money it takes to live today, at the level of civility and luxury we all seem to think is middle class. From my perspective, the problem of the disappearing middle class is as much a problem of the actual people who make up the middle class as it is the powers that be who have (essentially) oppressed us. This is not really about that. Nevertheless, the amount of luxury that “middle-class living” demands has inflated the cost of a middle-class lifestyle. Not to mention inflation of the dollar in and of itself. What this means now, is that the middle-class lifestyle has shifted into upper middle class, and the what was the middle class is now lower middle class. What’s truly missing is the middle of the middle class. And so, it seems as if the middle-class lifestyle has disappeared, but really, those who are in the upper middle class are still middle class citizens, even if they do have a million-dollar net worth. A million dollars no longer makes a person rich, if they want to live an upper-middle-class lifestyle, and that’s crazy. Think about that. If you want the semblance of simply keeping up, you need to make more than a few million dollars. This is nearly unattainable for the vast majority of people, and this is why influencing is not something about which one ought to feel pride.

The future that I see includes a still disproportionate distribution of wealth with the majority of it being held by a few hands, but that group will grow. Influencers and content creators, with millions of dollars in hand each year, will fall largely within and makeup most of the middle class along with a few independent business owners and corporate, upper-level management, but they will never rise to the very top. And then, the poorest among us will be left far behind to (essentially) fend for ourselves within our own little, poor world. Economies will rise within the poor, and a few will be catapulted out, up into the middle class, the truly ambitious, perhaps further.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I would say that influencers will never rise to the very top, and you’re also now probably debating whether or not you should become an influencer. First, influencers cannot rise once they are influenced. Once an influencer is influenced, either by catering to their audience or by being bought by companies to promote products, they establish themselves among the service class of the elite. Yea, sure, they are rewarded handsomely, and are even invited to peep into the world of the elite, but do not be confused, they are not part of the powers that be. They are the tools of the entertainment establishment. Be a tool. This is what I’m here to say. Make yourself useful to someone who has money to pay you for your usefulness.

In a world that will—inevitably—be run and operated by artificial intelligence and robots, you will have to have a purpose larger than showing up to work every day. You need to create that purpose. You need to create your work. You need to create your value. Once the table is set, and it will be set very soon, everyone will have to sit wherever they land. The music will stop, meaning jobs will no longer be created for you. Make sure that you’ve found a seat long before that day comes.

Words, ‘Work’ and Withdraw

Words, ‘Work’ and Withdraw

HOY2: D248

Mundane Monday

I finished my fiction-writing, word-count quota early today, and so, I thought I’d jot down a few happenings. One moment please …

Wow, fuck! I haven’t posted a Mundane Monday post since April. I had to look up the most recent post, and yea, I’ll just say that I’m … sorry? To be fair, I spent four posts logging our Sydney vacation, so there’s that, at the very least. I’ve also been writing some poetry that I’ve posted sporadically between then and now as well. *sigh. Let’s see … where to begin, then? One more moment please …

Holy shit! We’ve been back from our trip for six weeks! Where does time go? Seriously, I want to know! Ugh! Oh, right, I know. I’ve been cranking out those words for my manuscript, which I am proud to say, I will finish in exactly sixteen days. Like I said at the opening of this nonsense post, I’ve been diligently writing my little [big] ass off since December, and I’ve realized that having deadlines and actual “work” to do makes time fucking fly. Oh, I also returned to The ‘Gram after our trip cause, let’s be honest, I really really really wanted to brag about the trip and all egoistically related suchness. So … there’s that.

As for real updates, there’s not much to tell. I’m two, ten-day due dates away from finishing my 150,000-word manuscript, and I’m quite proud. Obviously, I still haven’t completed the task, but I know I will, unless some sort of karmic balance needs to unfold … or something. With the potential for any unknowable circumstance that would/could prevent me from finishing my ultimate #goals still lingering, I feel fully confident that I will scale this particular undertaking roughly unscathed, physically and deeply knowledgeable and fit [bruised and bewildered] psychologically. A sort of this-is-what-I’ve-learnt-type exercise will assuredly [or perhaps not] come forth once I’ve actually completed the thing.

In other news, the lifemate and I are basically going to the movies every other weekend. Two weekends ago, we watched Wonder Woman, obviously. Uh, yea, I definitely fucking cried during that movie. It was crazy awesome. One of my blogging/social media rules is “No Commentating;” another is “No Critiquing,” so, yea, there’s not really much for me to say about the flick, intellectually. I also can’t really suggest the movie to you, dear readers, for fear that that sort of … proffered instruction would fall under “No Curating,” another rule. So, there’s that. Last weekend [picture set below] we celebrated the lifemate’s birth, which is sort of really stupid if you think about it, so we’re in discussions about how best to “deal with” certain “special days,” etc.

If there had been a movie to watch [that we would’ve been willing to pay to see], we would’ve gone to the movies last weekend but alas … . And then yesterday, we went and saw Transformers: The Last Knight, a movie for which I was quite excited. I’m not ashamed to admit that I liked the previous installment for what it was. I thoroughly enjoyed all the transforming in 3D; it was epic, and I was looking forward to more of the same, but alas, that was not what we were given. Oh well. And then obviously, we will go see Spider-man: Homecoming the weekend after next.

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In between all this movie watching, we haven’t been up to much except writing, ‘working’ [in my case ’cause the lifemate definitely work {no quotes} WORKS], and withdrawing. Yea, we’re trying to cut back on the liquor, but we’re still partaking in our summer slushies when we “hit the town.” My days are still the epitome of mundane. One ought not fear that you’re missing out or that my life is somehow, awesome. Of course, I think that my life is awesome, cause, let’s face it, it’s my life; and I love my life! But the reality is that it probably looks pretty fucking lame, and that’s fine. I have absolutely no qualms with looking lame. Just take a look at my The ‘Gram [at the bottom of this blog]. Ha! Obviously I’m lying, and I’m completely delusional about whatever it is that makes me feel as though I’m “OK” with people thinking my life is lame. I totally want people to think my life is awesome … obvs. The ‘Gram is a wholly different beast, though; I use it in a completely different way. If anyone’s willing to read my writing, then they’ll get the real [best parts that I’m willing to share as opposed to the, sometimes, totally contrived ‘awesomeness’ posted elsewhere] me. All that social media shit is just that … shit. But I like it; it’s fun. *sigh.

I don’t really know what else to say, cause, it’s like I said, my life is “Boring as Shit!” Well, I mean, shit might not be the proper … simile, so … maybe my life is “boring as an uncle you’ve been seated next to, whom you barely know, at a wedding for a person you barely know, who is telling you a story about someone you don’t know at all, for the second time in thirty minutes.” Yea. Nailed it. Peace out, bitches. Until next time …

 


 

Surviving Seoul Summers

Surviving Seoul Summers

HOY2: D231

Thorough Thursday

How-To: Survive the Summer Heat in Seoul

I don’t believe that it’s a secret that the temperatures in Seoul, South Korea, are somewhat uncomfortable for the average human being. That being said, I am less-average in the sense that I’ve always lived in the mountains, which means, frigid winters and mild summers (of course, these days, that does not seem to be the case up in the mountain region from whence I came). Thus, I have never enjoyed hot climates, and so, I find summertime in Seoul less than desirable; actually I find the general climate of Seoul to be less than desirable all the time, but this is not about that. With that said, I have recently discovered a way to enjoy the heat, just in time, no doubt. Even though the temperature hasn’t hit blistering levels quite yet, I have tested out my new strategy a few times already, and I imagine that my plan will work swimmingly even as the temperature climbs.

None of what I’m about to say will be ground-breaking insight nor will it be anything but obvious.

Nevertheless, I do feel like sharing this little tidbit because, well, I’m finished with my fiction writing quota for the day, and now I’m bored. So, here it is! Well, I suppose the plan is two-fold and includes tips and tricks (a tip, no tricks) for getting to know Seoul as a whole along with my cooling method. For starters, you must know that I have lived in Seoul for three years now, and honestly, the city has become a bit … redundant. The lifemate and I have slowly been discovering that pretty much every nook and cranny of the city has much of the same things going on … shopping …eating … hiking … a level of consumer drivel that’s out of this world. Despite this general lack of diversity (in every sense and form), each neighborhood does usually have one major attraction or eatery that will be new and distinct. And so, my first (only) tip and trick.

When deciding where to explore within Seoul, the best thing to do is find the nearest subway station to your current location. Once you know where you’re located within the city, use this MAP to determine a location that’s about thirty to forty minutes away by subway. I think that most people under the age of forty will have no problem using the map, since it’s pretty self-explanatory. If you are having a hard time figuring it out, just start clicking on the little dots on the screen next to each subway station name, and everything should become clearer to you. If you’re still having problems, leave a comment, and hopefully, someone will help you out.

Okay, so now that you know which subway station is your closest station, choose, at random, a subway station that’s approximately thirty to forty minutes away. Here’s the tip, it takes, on average, about two minutes to travel between stops, i.e. traveling from Dongdaemun to Seoul Station is five stops apart and takes nine minutes. Once you choose a stop, search the station name through whichever web-search engine you prefer (Google it). The web-search engine of your choosing ought to provide enough information about the one interesting thing to see or do in that particular neighborhood. Sometimes the thing will be a traditional-type palace or a traditional-type goods alley or a traditional-type foods market or a Buddhist temple or a contemporary department store or modern-day attraction or, you get it. If the main attraction near the subway station you chose on the map sounds good to you, then go there. If not, pick another station and repeat the process until something really hits ya between the balls with excitement, etc.

What the lifemate and I typically do is we search for whatever thing we’re looking for, a market or a restaurant or a movie theater, search the subway station associated with wherever whatever we’re looking for is located, and then, we search the surrounding area … all virtually, of course. Then, when a place sounds like it has at least two different things going for it, we also make note of all of the immediate subway stops. We usually go straight to our desired destination and scope out whatever it is that we’ve traveled all that way to see. Then, we walk to one of the surrounding stations. It’s a great way to get a glimpse into the actual lives of Koreans.

I would provide more information about the neighborhoods we like to hang out in, but then I risk running into more foreigners, and I’m not really interested in such social meetings. Also, we don’t really go to tourist hot spots ’cause, do I really need to explain myself? Plus, our “it” neighborhood is changing all the time because that’s how Seoul is –it’s changing all the time. Again, this is why this strategy works well for those of you who have or are planning on living here for more than a year. Seoul’s rate of business turnover is … fucking ridiculous. You cannot count on anything being there the next time you visit, and so, we’ve learned the hard way to just soak up each new neighborhood the first time we visit, and then we push it from our minds and never hope to return there for whatever specific thing we loved in the hood the first time we visited. Sure, we’ll repeatedly return to some areas of the city, but we know full well that whatever it is that we’re traveling there for will most likely no longer be available. Thus, the “Pick and Pop” (TM [… jk, who’d be so pretentious]) method through the subway map was born. Sure, these days we have to travel upwards of ninety minutes sometimes to get to a neighborhood we’ve never been to, but since we travel less frequently, generally speaking, it’s not such a burden. During everyday-type weekend outings, we stick to a neighborhood that requires only thirty to forty minutes of travel.

humptydumpty
Make of it what you will.

Now, how to stay cool during these searing hot months? Well, that’s the fun part. There’s nothing better than an ice-cold bevey to satisfy a sweaty profile. And there’s nothing better than a little booze to lubricate a day on the town. Therefore, there’s definitely nothing better than an icy-boozy bevey to keep you cool and emotionally lubricated. What do I mean by lubrication? Well, Seoul is a fucking crowded city, and yea, it’s fun and exciting at first, but then I found that it has become droll and daunting. There are thousands of people everywhere you go, all the time. If you think about a city the size of Seoul with a population of about 10,000,000, that means that there are more than 15,000 people on average packed within one square kilometer. It’s like I said, crowded. Yes, it can be extremely exciting, but if you’re like me, it becomes very draining. And so, I like to get a little (more than a little) tipsy while out on the town. It helps me care less about the pushing and shoving and rudeness and ajumma entitlement and the general sense of,

“Oh my ephing god, these handrails/bathrooms/chairs/benches/door handles must be so disgusting! Think about how many people use them every single minute of every single hour of every single day! And I’m like four stories underground right now in a small tube with thousands of people who listen to authority to such an extent that they will end up dying rather than simply getting off the train!”

I digress. Anyway … So yea, I use alcohol as a coping mechanism for all of my idiosyncratic phobias and general psychosis. Obviously, I’d prefer the all-natural, more-fun beez from our days of yore, but alas, such goodness, perhaps, works well as a carrot. Again, I digress.

And now, the 10 steps to staying hydrated and lubricated during the scorching Seoul summer! (These measurements are for two people hanging out together.) This process works best when undertaken the night before an outing:

  • Step 1: Buy one to three (depending on your desired level of inebriation) bottles of cheap (cheap cheap, you’ll see why below) white wine
  • Step 2: Buy one small bottle of a lemon-lime soda of your choosing
  • Step 3: (If you have an empty 2L bottle of water, skip to Step 4) Acquire or save an empty 2L bottle of water
  • Step 4: Fill 2L water bottle with white wine until it’s about 3/4 full (use your own discretion or fill two 2L bottles, whatever, it’s all up to you!), leave room for the lemon-lime soda and add half the bottle of lemon-lime soda, leave the bottle nearly full, leaving room for expansion
  • Step 5: Place the nearly full bottle of wine and soda mixture into the freezer the night before an outing.
  • Step 6: The next morning, the contents of the bottle ought to be frozen. Wine freezes quite well, but it remains slightly slushy, hence the lemon-lime soda. The soda helps it to freeze to a more solidified state. Remove the frozen bottle of wine from the freezer and wrap the thing up in a hand towel. Any sort of carrying device will work. Whatever suits you and your desires works best. The lifemate and I like to carry the thing around in a small panda-shaped backpack.
  • Step 7: Now, as you’re leaving to your desired destination for your outing, pick up some sort of cold (or hot if you desire, but that seems beside the point) bevey from your favorite (or cheapest) bevey-distribution shop, you know, something of the cup-and-lid-and-straw variety, and drink the bevey on the way to the subway station.
  • Step 8: Once inside the station, your purchased bevey ought to be finished, so now, this is the important part, KEEP THE BEVEY CUP! If the cup is a hot-bevey cup, then you might want to rinse the thing out at a subway station water fountain. Most stations have them. If you have a cold-bevey cup, then just swish the remains out with the last of the melting ice.
  • Step 9: Now comes the fun part! Fill your decoy cup with the frozen wine. Sometimes the wine will still be a bit too frozen, so at this time, you might want to just massage the bottle with your hands to warm it up while you ride the train to your destination. The point is to take it slow, so there’s no rush to get the juice into the decoy cup before arriving at your desired location, especially since the trains are air conditioned quite well. If it’s really hot out, the wine should be a nice slushy mixture by the time you get to wherever you’re going.
  • Step 10: Once at your destination for your day’s outing, you should be happily sipping a delicious wine slushy from your decoy cup. As the cup empties, simply fill it with the contents of the water bottle. Since the thing was frozen, it does a surprisingly good job of staying cold and refreshing throughout the entirety of the afternoon heat. Enjoy the day refreshed and tipsy! (See Exhibit A)
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Exhibit A

The crazy thing is that alcohol is readily available throughout the city, and old grannies and grandpees drink openly in public. The lifemate and I, however, still feel it’s a bit strange and would rather avoid the odd looks, especially since we already have to deal with so many odd looks given the fact that we’re a mixed-raced couple, and Koreans, in general, are surprisingly, quite racist. So, we like this strategy cause it looks like we’re just sipping some frozen concoction from whatever local bevey joint our cup’s label advertises. Also, we’ve tried stronger versions with hard liquor and the like, but vodka, etc., gets us a bit too drunk and being drunk makes me feel even hotter. The wine, I’ve found, takes the edge off without giving me the liquor sweats. Obviously, if you’re a hard drinker, you may want to swap out the wine for something stronger, but the point for us is not to be so drunk that we block out the city completely. The point is just to lubricate my senses so that I can enjoy it without all the … compulsive obsessions.

So, there you have it! My take on how to stay cool and chill while out in the blistering heat that is Seoul in summer. I hope you try it! If you do, let me know! If you have even better tips and tricks, definitely let me know! Lates.

 


 

Come What May

Come What May

HOY2: D208

2017 May 17 [Wednesday]

2017 ETMC Travels: Sydney Edition
Part II

So, obviously, I am disregarding the daily themes of this nonsense blog for the time being so that I may retroactively document parts of my and my lifemate’s most recent vacation/travels. Today, a Wednesday, ought to be reserved for the purpose of expressing things about which I wonder or whatnot, and now that I’m writing, something of that variety may actually reveal itself in the end. Firstly, however, I must insert a note here that I am also back to work on my writing writing (the serious stuff regarding my book and such). I still have 47 days and approximately 48,000 words to go before my final end date on July 12, 2017. Thus, I must admit that writing these little updates about our vacation seems less important, albeit somewhat important when considering the nature of forgetting. Therefore, I will do my best to get the details of our trip logged in a timely fashion, but with looming 1,000-word, far more important, fiction-writing, daily quotas, I promise nothing. Where were we?

Right, so we arrived at our Airbnb apartment after twenty-four hours of travel, walking walking walking, a little drama and ten flights of stairs later. Friday and Saturday were spent scoping out the King’s Cross and Newtown neighborhoods of the city, respectively. We were in specific search for something that we could not acquire, and so, by Saturday night, we conceded and proceeded to change gears and plan accordingly. This is that point where I now must reveal or reiterate (I don’t remember if I already spoke to this in the most recent post) that I either forgot to pack my camera or simply failed to take any pics during the first four days of the trip. I know that I must have had my camera the first day we landed because that’s when I shot the “Sugar Birds.” After that, however, I snapped zero pics until Monday. So, my words will have to do, which really is what I’m aspiring toward anyway, right?

Okay, quickly now since I don’t want to bore. On Friday, we slept in a bit and then hopped on a bus to King’s Cross (if anyone wants to know more about how to get around in Sydney via public transport, just ask, and I’ll write up a post; if not, I’ll just say that it’s easy but expensive). King’s Cross was a notoriously shady part of Sydney for most of its history, until about three years ago when the city decided to clean it up. For the purposes of my own naivete, I’ll simply state that we stopped through that hood for the … food. We ate gelato, found the naval base, scoped out a Woolworth’s (since we were planning on shopping at the one closer to our apartment, we thought we’d see what it had to offer), and then went back to our apartment, tired, disappointed and disillusioned. We failed to find the … food … for which we were searching. The area is quite posh, upscale, a reversal of its past notoriety. Then we regrouped at the apartment for an hour or two before heading down to Bondi Beach to a bar that was supposedly celebrating the “May 5th tradition of 420.” What a crock of bullshit! Again, disappointment soon followed, so we opted for libations and then went home and passed out by 2200.

On Saturday, we awoke feeling optimistic with new plans to travel to Newtown, another notoriously good place to find … food. We stopped in at the Happy Herb Shop where I spoke to the owner/healer lady for about thirty minutes before we both realized that she wasn’t speaking in code about anything and that, sadly, she did not have what we wanted. I did find out, nevertheless, that only about two years earlier, she could and would have easily and happily sold me the … item … I so desired right there in her shop. She was very apologetic and sent me off with a warning that I graciously heeded. Thus, the lifemate and I went in search for some real food. We stopped in at the self-proclaimed eatery of the stoned (yes, the … food … we had traveled so far to partake in was all around us, but we were not privy to it since we had no friends of direct connections of our own. At a time such as it is in Sydney, everything regarding the … delicacy is mum), D’Munchies, where we scarfed an amazing burger and fries and picked up a small tip. Unfortunately, the entire city of Sydney has gone cold to what was supposedly something so hot. By 1930 that evening, we conceded and made our way to the Wooly’s (Woolworth’s in vernacular, we soon learned) in our neighborhood. Happy again, we bought all sorts of goodies ranging from real muffins (yes, Seoul does not know how to make them) to lamb chops, asparagus to goat cheese and all sorts of dips, sundried tomatoes and garlic bread and western deliciousness we used to take for granted. We would return to that Wooly’s three or four more times to pick up libations in lieu of our disappointing discovery. Luckily, the liquor flowed freely and Wooly’s had an incredible “3 for $21” mix-and-match deal on wine. Needless to say, we drank about ten bottles of champagne (one of which is not pictured below since we bought it on our last day while burning time before heading to the airport … yea … we’re BAMFs [drunks] like that), five bottles of red (one bottle, one box that we left the rest of in the apartment cause we didn’t actually finish it), and four bottles of white (one box, completely finished, haha!) over the course of the trip, oh and lest not forget the bottle of Bulleit we purchased on our first night. Yes, we like to be … inebriated. Who wants to be sober on a vacation? Obviously, alcohol was not our drug of choice, but since it was the only readily available, legal substance, we had to do what we had to do. Come what may, right?

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Despite not finding what we were looking for over the course of two days and two different neighborhoods, we, at the very least, got out of the apartment and perused the city. The rejection, however, and impending general disappointment of the trip as a whole all became a bit too much, and so, on Sunday, we woke with a new mental state about the reality of this vacation. We decided that the rest of the trip would be spent drunk on the beach, minus one more excursion to find the IMAX theater at some point. Champagne in hand, we finally hit the beach on Sunday afternoon for a precisely disciplined one-hour sunbath. We don’t get much sun here in Seoul, what with the skyscrapers lining every street and the horrid pollution, thus, we knew our bodies would be sensitive to the intensity of the Australian sun. Even in winter, we both returned with golden skin. The first day out, though, was spent very methodically slathered in sunscreen, turning and flipping so as to just introduce our flesh to a less-intense, 1500-hour sunshine. After exactly an hour, we clothed ourselves and picnicked on the grassy lawn just above the beach. I don’t remember what we did after that.

As a quick side note, I would like to interject that Seoul is absolutely a nighttime city; Sydney most definitely is not. People say that it used to be a great place to party and be out, but that was not the Sydney we witnessed. Basically, every shop and store was closed by 1800, and most restaurants shut down by 2100 or 2130 with the exception of one or two late-night joints, meaning they were open ‘til midnight. This was quite a shock to us, so we also had to shift our sleeping habits, rising early and sleeping somewhat earlier than usual. Also, Sydney and its beaches line the east coast of the continent, which means that the sun rises over the ocean and sets elsewhere, and since it’s winter down under, the days were shorter, which means that the sun left the beach cold and windy by about 1600. The time shift was also something we were not quite prepared for, but luckily, we adapted quickly and with the first few days spent scoping things out and getting a feel for the location, we were ready to suck this vacation’s dick by the time Monday morning rolled in.

And now the Wednesday Wonderer rears its curious head. I do wonder what the trip would have been like if we had found … the food we had so desperately wanted. Of course, we did not travel all the way to Sydney just for this one thing, but we did think that it would be a fun possibility. Looking back now, however, I do feel as though we may have lucked out in not finding it. I had a little bit of a pit in my stomach when thinking about acquiring it before we even left, and honestly, I’m kind of glad we didn’t. I don’t know what Sydney was like a few years ago, but I know what it’s like now. Sydney and the powers that be have cracked down, and its people are scared. The way I perceive the city is that she’s kind of a frigid bitch. You know the type, the hot girl who has always been hot, like so totally hot, and so, she’s never really had to work to attract people to her. Now, however, she’s kind of a butter-face, hidden in this facade of splendor and attractiveness, but once we actually get down under (haha), you find out that there’s not much there beneath the surface. The people are a bit frigid too, respectable and polite to strangers?, yes, but it’s just not a fun place. The reason for this I cannot know, perhaps it was I, and perhaps I am horrible, but what I wonder is if it is the fault of the government and what it did to “clean up” the city of its “disgraceful” lifestyle and habits. Unfortunately, what I did see was that something has changed, everyone we spoke to spoke to it. Hopefully, someday, Sydney, for the sake of its reputation and general future appeal, finds a balance between being able to provide the good time for which it is known and keeping its citizens safe. Until then, however, I will not return for a repeat visit.

And so, I leave it at that. With the first four days crawling by like time does when there’s much to be learned, the last week of the trip seemed to have escaped us in a flash once we settled in and really knew where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. Until the next post about the rest of our time there, check out the 2017 ETMC Travels: Sydney Edition pics on my photography site! Lates.


Read Part I & Part III or Part IV

It’s Official …

It’s Official …

HOY2: D206

2017 May 15 [Monday]

2017 ETMC Travels: Sydney Edition
Part I

Six down, Antarctica to go.

YAY!!! *sigh. Obviously, there are still many more countries I need/want to visit, but I feel supremely … grateful and accomplished. Honestly, I don’t really have all that much to say about the trip except that it was a dream come true, magic proven real, an experience I’m still wrapping my mind around as something I [but mostly the lifemate] was/were/am/are even capable of making happen as an adult[s]. Read more

Surprise, Surprise: a failure at large

Surprise, Surprise: a failure at large

On this |how.odious| DAY, ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO, of Year Two, being Monday, February 20, 2017, the purpose of this blogspace has been redefined yet again. Back in October 2016 [exactly four month ago, to the day, actually] at the beginning of this |how.odious| Year Two, I was not currently writing fiction. Thus, I had set the goal to write twice a week for the rest of the year, once on Mondays in diary form and once on Fridays in researched, nonfiction form. Then, in December, my two metric months [one month equaling 100 days] of fiction writing commenced, with the goal being to write 150,000 words in 200 days. The end of this 200 days is July 2nd, 2017. So far, I am marching very efficiently and effectively toward completing this seemingly daunting, impossible task. Honestly, though, the fiction writing could not be going any better. I enjoy writing every day, even though, some days I don’t actually write, but all of my mental faculties are being pressed to produce each metric week’s [ten days] word count quota, which, to date, has been hit every single metric week with great aplomb.

The problem, then, is not the writing of fiction. The problem is the demands of this blogspace. As you can see, I missed last Friday’s “Feature Friday.” This was due to the fact that I was simply too burnt out to write or even think about what to write by the time Friday rolled around. Fiction writing deems itself far more taxing than I initially imagined, and I had a truly onerous perception of the task I had set before myself. Thus, I imagined that writing here on |how.odious| would at some point become too much. And, so, here we are now, reexamining not only what it possible for me as far as reasonable writing goals, but also, what is truly necessary as far as my level of consistent output. Remember, my fiction writing goal is the absolutely priority. The conclusion to which I have arrived, thus, seems reasonable enough, but, like all things, only time will tell of its feasibility. Therefore, here are the new guidelines for what this blogspace ought to be.

Every week I will consciously attempt to write an extra piece, meaning something unrelated to my fiction writing. Each day of the week will have a certain theme attached to it, and they are as follows:

Monday: Mundane Monday

Tuesday: Truthful Tuesday

Wednesday: Wednesday Wonderer

Thursday: Thorough Thursday

Friday: Friday Fable

The way it works should be pretty self-explanatory, but I will explain, nonetheless. If [if being the operative word] I write an extra piece of writing and it ends up being something researched and of the nonfiction genre, I will post it on Thursday, for Thorough Thursday. Get it? Mondays will remain essentially the same in theme. If/when I write a personal narrative either about the happenings in my life or about some revelation via introspection, I will post on Truthful Tuesday. Wednesdays are for posts regarding thoughts that I have surrounding the more existential. And Fridays, since Thursdays are now reserved for researched nonfiction, will host any extra short-form fiction, if anything “extra” is ever written.

The difference between the way |how.odious| worked at the beginning of this Year Two [which began on October 21, 2016] and now is that I am not required to write any particular type of post during any given week. I am, however, requiring myself to [try my damnedest to] write ONE post each week, but, as of today, I imagine they will most likely be posts on Mondays for Mundane Monday, as this type of post is the easiest, least-demanding of the bunch. If I write anything beyond the fiction quota that is required of me on any given week, I will feel like a success.

The good news is that my two metric months of fiction will end, eventually, and so, I will most likely return to a two-post-per-week schedule here on this blogspace. Until my 150,000 words of fiction are completed, however, I think writing here, once a week will be enough while not being too much. I am not entirely sure under which category this particular post falls, so I will simply post it as a diary-type post within the context of logging my life. Yea, sure. Okay. So, that’s it for this post and this week. I will see you again sometime between Monday and Friday next week. Laters!

Week-Long Ultra-Feast

Week-Long Ultra-Feast

|how.odious| Year Two: DAY ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN

2017 February 13 [Monday]

Monday, Monday, Monday, Monday!, couldn’t come soon enough! The week started with a light cold that left me feeling a bit dull and snot-ridden for about three days, but the whole sitch came and went quick enough. I went for a light jog on Wednesday to get some new blood pumping through my system and felt pretty good the rest of the week. Today, I feel fine. The cold, however, brought about the beginning of a week-long ultra-feast, meaning the lifemate and I indulged ourselves in all of the unapproved foods we normally never eat.

We ate bags of chips, bags of [Snyder’s-style] pretzels, half a dozen fudge-filled brownies, half a dozen super-fancy Krispy Kreme donuts, hash browns, potato hash, Taco Bell, honey biscuit sandwiches, BLTs, bacon, cheese-filled corn dogs, cream cheese-filled and ice cream-filled Belgian waffles, vodka and pricier beers. Basically, we stuffed ourselves so that we would not want to eat anything so heavy and carb-loaded ever again!, and it worked.

I felt so bad by Saturday night that I was sure I would not be able to eat anything on Sunday, but a deal’s a deal. We had to gorge ourselves [and not workout] through Sunday so as to be sure we’d land somewhere truly disgusted with ourselves. It was not awesome. Luckily, today is now today and so, I woke up and immediately hit a hard circuit workout, ate a bowl full of veggies, and soon, I’ll be meeting with the lifemate to eat a chicken stick and grocery shop for ginormous salad stuffs. I’m so excited! From here on out it’ll be back to business as usual until our vacation in May!

02-17-justwaitin-1

As far as other happenings from the past week are concerned, there’s not much to tell these days since most my days revolve around writing the fiction. I had a fiction word quota of 7500 words due yesterday, and I pretty much kicked the thing in the ass. All-in-all the fiction writing is going really well. I easily write anywhere between 1500 and 1800 words per sitting. Lately, I’ve been doing one writing sesh per day on five of the ten days in each metric week. It’s a pretty good system, honestly. I have the freedom to relax my mind and come up with ideas, but I can only take one or two days off at a time and have to write on back-to-back days. The challenge of consistently having to output fiction is truly wonderful, while the consistent time off helps the ideas flow constantly. I’m finding a rhythm, and I gotta say, it feels great.

02-17-yakultuploadMy other weekly responsibility of teaching English to my student, SJ, on Thursdays and Fridays has been great as well. Her mother bought her some new social studies textbooks, and SJ really seems to enjoy the content. During class, her mother always provides me with some delicious drink and sometimes a treat, and last week, her mother gave me the coolest little yogurt drink. It was one of those Yakult probiotic drinks, but the packaging was not only twice as big as usual, but also, it was upside down! So amazing. That little treat made my day. It was so fun. We, SJ and I, then discussed whether or not she thought her mother was cool. I think that her mother is really cool cause she seems to know what’s “now,” but SJ disagrees. SJ thinks that her mother has such “old style.” That may be true as far as what her mother herself likes to eat and wear, but the things her mother buys SJ is always pretty hip and on trend. AND the food and drinks her mother provides for me are always pretty cool, I think. Haha.

*sigh*

Anyhow, I suppose that’s all. There’s not much to talk about since I just don’t feel all that connected to these Mundane Monday posts anymore. They’re totally pointless from a writing standpoint, but maybe they’re nice to have when considering where I might be living in the future and how nice it might be to look back on these posts from our time in Seoul. No matter, I will continue to write them. If I figure out some other topic about which to write instead, perhaps I will rethink these diary-type entries then. For now, I still enjoy how easy these entries are to write, and I probably need to have some writing output that requires less brainpower. *sigh* Back to the fiction.

Until next time …