Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving in Korea

The table is set, the candles are lit, the wine is poured and the turkey is cut. It's time for the feast of the year. It's time for everyone to take a break from work or school and travel to spend time with family and friends. I've done it for the last 23 years of my life, but not this year.

Of course, each year has been a little different. I've eaten with family at home and I've eaten with family at close friends houses. Sometimes we watched football and othertimes we'd argue over how boring the Macy's Day Parade is. I never win that one, but everyone knows it's boring. At this point, Mom and Kristin have had the Christmas music in full swing for about a month and most of the shopping has been done for several months. It's a great time. It's a great break where we all get to sit, relax and enjoy being a family.

This year is different. Kristin, Trey, Hattie and Sadie (intentional omission of Esther) are dealing with an ever-increasing fussy Hattie. I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Poor Trey, but he knew what he signed up for when he married her. Mom and David are entertaining his kids which I know is hard for Mom. Not because of his kids, but because we're not there. I think this is the first for her. That leaves me, here, in Korea on Thanksgiving night all alone. I am not sad though. I am not homesick or looking for pity comments. I am thankful.

The meaning of this day has been lost on me for years. It was always a time to hang out and mooch of the parents for the week. However, today I am thankful. Why?

I'm thankful that I have an audience who reads this and cares about me. I'm thankful that I have family at home that can feel the emptiness at the table because I'm not there. I'm thankful for those who have helped me get to where I am today. I'm thankful that my parents are all still alive and healthy. I'm thankful that I am the Uncle of a niece who has two incredible people for parents. I'm thankful that Trey had a band called Ezra and that they were better than "Better Than Ezra". I'm thankful for Emmie, Prince, Sadie, Boston, Pepper, Snipes, Snoops, Snaps, Hayden Fox from Coach, Sierra, Dottie Hen, Hayden, Amos, Lakota, Abbie, Barley, Gideon, Snappy, Berrie, Squeeky, Pookie, Marmalade, the love birds, the fish, critter cages and even Esther. I'm thankful for my friends at home who I love dearly. I'm thankful that they can be with their families and friends tonight. I'm thankful for the memories I've created with the scores of people I've met in this wonderful world. I'm thankful for the people I'll meet in the future. I'm thankful for the musicians who have played the music that has been the soundtrack to my life. I'm thankful for American and Korean women. I have learned a lot from them all. I've learned the importance of loyalty and honesty. I'm thankful for that even if they came at a cost. Still, that's a cost I would pay again any day. I'm thankful for the two most important women in my life. Without them I would not be here and I would not be the person I am today. I'm thankful that I can sit here alone writing all of this and not feel sad. I am so thankful for what I hold dear to me that I could never be sad on earth. I'm sitting here writing with a smile on my face knowing all of you are together and hopefully reflecting on what is important to you.

I'm thankful for you all. All of you have been part of this experiment as I have yours.

Most of all, I'm thankful for life. Thanks for being part of it...

Monday, November 06, 2006

I'm nervous...

Let's make it happen!

Tomorrow is the day. The polls will open and the people will choose. I think we (the Dems) will take the House back and possibly the Senate (although I doubt it). If we take even a few Senate seats, I think that will be enough to make Bush a lame duck since so many right-wingers are straying from the awful man.

Why am I nervous then? I'm nervous because the last two elections have been shrouded in fraud. The Diebold voting machines are so undetectably vulnerable to tampering that I can not believe we use them. I'm nervous because international poll observers can't even watch our vote because there is no uniformity in our systems (as the law calls for). I'm nervous that the American people might still be as out of touch with the world as they have been since 1994. I'm nervous that the world might again see us as supporters of a President who thinks he is a king. I'm nervous that more people will have to die. I'm nervous that I will not have the stomach to return to the States until this party is out of office.

I need this change. We need this change. The world needs this change...

Also, I was very unhappy to see that Saddam got the death penalty. Aside from the convenient timing of the verdict, using murder to punish for murder makes no sense. He was a state head who murdered people, right? Murder is the worst thing someone can do, but who's killing him? The State is, so can we punish the judges now?

We live in a crazy world and I'm not saying that this election will change it, but one thing is for sure: continuously applying the same method and expecting different results each time is idiocy. Let's not perpetuate this failed strategy...for the sake of the world.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Way too long

I have no excuse for not writing for two weeks. I apologize for my apathy.

However, life here is going well. I've been here for over three months and still enjoy everyday. School is great and I'm really getting to know the kids and finally I am seeing some of my mannerisms in them. It's funny. I play music for them and they all get really excited and pull out their air guitars and rock it along side of me. Their English is getting pretty good too. All is well on that front.

We are all planning our Cambodian trip and everday it seems to get better. Here's the plan:

We fly to Hong Kong and catch a flight to Bangkok. We're there for six hours. I'm not sure if we'll rock out for those hours or get a room. We'll be there from 23:50 to 5:00, so it might be best if we sleep. At 5:00 we hop on a train. The train is classic. It's all third-class and costs a mere one dollar. The seats are wood and we'll be on there for 5 hours. I'm excited though. I'll get to gaze out of those windows and see rural Thailand. It's going to be amazing.

Then we hit the Cambodian border. I've heard that it's a real shady place. I'm sure it's safe though. From there we get a cab for a three hour ride to our destination: Siem Reap.

We'll rock it there from the 24th through the 29th. We'll see Ankor Wat and Ankor Thom and check out a few other temples. We're staying in a guesthouse that is part hotel and part Irish Pub. It's cheap and looks rather nice. While there I think we're going to visit some land mine fields, ride elephants and go to the Tonle Sap lake. The Tonle Sap flows into the Mekong River which is the river that flows into Vietnam. On the lake there are floating villages that we'll check out.

After Cambodia, we head to Bangkok for New Years. That should be wild.

More to come...

Next weekend we're going to the Sea of Japan for a little getaway. I'm excited about this as well. It will be cold though.

I know this post was all over the place, but it's something.

I'm trying to save money this month, so hopefully I'll be writing more and going out less...