Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reflecting, on working out . . ..

It's odd.

I've just had a sudden urge, a want to punch something.

Not so much a "punch-something-because-I'm-angry", mind you, but more of a "hit-something-because-it-was-routine".

I guess I just miss doing . . . what? What am I missing?

Am I missing the simple act of punching? The machismo of the act? The tactile response that I receive from my hands? Or is it the routine that surrounds itself?

It's not that I miss the whole thing altogether; sure, I've been wildly inconsistent recently, but I'm very satisfied with the Judo Dojo I've joined, and I'm going to be consistent, I swear! It's definitely not that.

Being in a reflective mood, it makes me think of several things; what it is, this "martial art" that I've been long obsessive about?

This may be a stereotypical nod that many practitioners would take (and I'm a stereotypical guy, mind you), but I don't like that term. "Martial arts". Psshhh, what a farce. A farce in that it's both a caricature of what it is and something that may be much more, at least to me.

Thinking back, I'm somewhat stuck not so much on the styles that I've taken, but more towards the relationships built around this institution that I chose to partake in, and as with everyone else that has been in any relationships; the mistakes made and the triumphs.

I've made mistakes both as an instructor, pushing the students past their limits; as a friend, being callously bigoted, or hypocritical, at times; as a mentor, crossing boundaries which, in retrospect, I was the one taking advantage of a situation and should never have taken.

What leaves me in awe is that those same people would have the quality of character and patience to put up with mistake after mistake that I make and still be there, sometimes in the dojo, sometimes socially; hell, sometimes out in a shopping mall never expecting to see each other.

I've thought about listing some of the names of instructors, mentors, students and others I've had the luck of meeting, but they know who they are; and what's significant right now, half a world away, is that I would consider them friends, and if I'm lucky enough, they would consider me theirs.

Before I go overboard and crying about puppies and flowers; I will stop - consider this, however, an apology to those who deserve it and to everyone that I met inside the dojo, a sincere thank you.

I'm out, and yeah, I can be a sappy SOB sometimes. Now I gotta punch something. For machismo.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Japan Itinerary 2009 Gaiden: Fortune for the Lunar New Year

Definition of "Gaiden" from Wikipedia

(One of the things we did while in Fukuoka was to travel to a temple and pay respects, and also pick out a paper fortune by reaching into a stone container/cabinet[?] for the New Year as well. Fortunately, there were English fortunes to pick from. Here's what it says.)

Fortune Slip

Number 15
Very Lucky
Like boats gathering at the port.

Fortune Everything will proceed as your heart desires, but you must not be negligent. This is a good time to gather your thoughts and narrow down your plans for the future.

Wish Will be as you wish.

Expected Person Will arrive if there is no news.

Lost Article Will be difficult to find.

Travel Good.

Conflict Be passive. There will be victory.

Position Vacant Earlier the better.

Relocation Do not make haste.

Construction Good.

Business Good, will gain popularity.

Trade There will be loss.

Competition There will be good odds, but stay on guard.

Illness Have faith, there is no doubt of a complete recovery.

Marriage A female will be obstructive and chances may be ruined. Will be hard to come about, even if help is sought.

Childbirth Easy birth, with the help from the gods.

Study Examination and admissions will be successful, go forth.

Employment Your desire will be fulfilled in the near future.

Hmm, that part about the marriage and childbirth appears to be contradictory . . ..

Japan Itinerary 2009: part 1

Friday, January 23rd 2009

11:30PM – Attempt to get some rest before going to Fukuoka, Japan (Flight: Seoul, Korea 9:30AM to Fukuoka, Japan 11:50AM). Fail.

Saturday, January 24th 2009

4:30AM – Get up. Attempt to get up. Try to attempt to get up.

5:03AM – Get up and head out across Seoul to get to the Airport. Intended path; take 20 min. cab ride to bus station, take shuttle bus to airport.

5:05AM – God damn it's cold.

5:12AM – Flag down a cab. Get in.

5:46AM – Get off at the bus stop. Find out that bus passed less than 5 minutes prior and have to wait ~20 minutes to catch next bus. On the sidewalk. Freeze ass off.

5:48AM – Motherfucker; is that snow?

5:59AM – Bus arrives. Can barely feel finger.

~ – Note the powdery snow is increasing in intensity. Note with half amusement/absolute horror at the other drivers driving in zero visibility; driving in between lanes, stopping/starting for no reason, going at ridiculously slow speeds, briefly think of joke about Asians and driving before having a quick prayer.

7:12AM – Arrive at Incheon Airport.

7:14AM – Leah is feeling ill from the bus driver lurching the constantly due to the terrible traffic. Fuck.

7:20AM – Leah applies for a re-entry permit. Her ticket # is . . . 198. The waiting list is . . . 104. Fuck.

7:40AM – Let Leah wait in line for her permit, go exchange Korean Won for Japanese Yen. Fuuuuuuck.

8:40AM – Wait in queue for air ticket while Leah is still waiting. She catches up, we rush, arrive at plane just in time. Awesome.

9:30AM – Plane not in air yet.

9:45AM – Plane still not in air.

~ – Pass out, wake up to note that; a.) the plane is in the air, and b.) they're serving food. Can relate to this guy.

12:30PM – Arrive in Fukuoka. Estimated weekly temperature; ~50 degrees F.

12:47PM – Get to the domestic airport/subway station; note on shuttle bus ride that all the logos/icons for industrial factories/warehouses are adorable cartoons of some sort. Awesome.

12:48PM – Motherfucker; is that snow?

12:51PM – Decide to get some food in our stomach before moving on; ordered a chili dog, get a hot dog with some kind of ketchup/salsa mix on top. Better than airplane food, not quite human food.

1:12PM – Arrive at the intended subway station/Ryokan with relative ease. Get shocked at the subway prices in Japan (Subway ticket in Seoul[capital city, gargantuan metro] for 4 stops; $0.60. Subway ticket in Fukuoka[not a capital city, relatively big metro] for 4 stops; $3.15). Brace for the worst.

1:13PM – the Ryokan is b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.; unfortunately, check-in is 3PM

1:45PM – Wander around the area; look at outside of local temple, get lost for 30 seconds, note that 7-11 in Japan is 7-and-i-incorporated (and note that it doesn't quite have the same ring, but will do anyways) find area's shopping mall and find . . . Wendy's. Delicious, delicious Wendy's.

4:15PM – Come back from mall. Crash for the rest of the day. Watch Sumo wrestling. Note to self; remind self to get one of those nifty Japanese tables.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's new?

Well, both nothing and a lot of things, actually;

Currently, it's pretty much status quo, but I suppose in some sense the status quo has changed a bit;

- I've joined Judo, which is awesome. The players there are awesome, the master is awesome, and it's a great environment overall.

- Leah's scooter got run over. With both of us on it. We're fine, but the scooter isn't.

- We're going to Japan - Fukuoka, more specifically - for the Lunar New Year. Hurray for 4-day weekends and (relatively) cheap airfare!

- I've made friends with a lot of people at Facebook - yes, for people who didn't know, I have a Facebook acct - but I'm kinda ashamed/jealous of other people's successes (and, to a limited degree since I'm admittedly petty, happy for them, of course); hopefully soon it will change from petty jealousy to an impetous for improvement. A man can dream, can he not?

- Leah, my wife, started her own blog;
She is, admittedly, much more consistent with the blogging, so for some up-to-date news, I'd recommend checking it out.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



Haven't been here in a while; it's not for a lack of news; rather, it's because of a tremendous amount of news of which I can't even fathom where to begin with.


- I've moved into a new place, and to a new job (hallelujah!)
- I'm not balding, it seems (I'm kinda bummed since it's something that inevitable - you know the worst part is the waiting)
- Leah also has a new job and a new place - which is with me!
- I've ran around like a chicken without a head for Leah's documents, packing, moving, etc. and we've had to move *TWICE* to get a decent place.
- My mom visited here from the US - when she was around, she managed to buy Leah a hanbok
and introduce "us" to the fam-fam. Of which I was not clearly aware of (I went there wearing jeans and a sweater).

Anyhow, just living the good life now - gound a Kyokushinkai place nearby, I've been going to a dissappointing Muay Thai place nearby of which I stopped going because . . . it was dissappointing. Duh.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No Tokyo for Dan. . ..


So it appears that, at this time, Tokyo has eluded my grasp (sigh).

Well, this is why - I've got to move into the new place and start work a full week sooner than expected when I told them that I had the week free (me and my stupid mouth)! So I have to move.

Appearantly, though, it's possible to rent a car as long as you have a license - not strictly an international license, either.

Minds are a' brewing, folks . . ..

(Time to get packing)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tokyo, Packing, and Tattoos

So, I'm changing jobs.


Well, for several reasons;
  • For another, the place I work at, while filled with great staff, SUCK because they only take two holidays off a year. And no, other places do NOT do that.
    • And it's not Christmas, New Year's Eve, nor No Pants Day - and frankly, I don't want to be associated with an organization that doesn't celebrate No Pants Day. (Not, that the new place would observe the holy day, but they have more holidays, at least)
  • Another complication was that a few months ago, Leah's school decided, without Leah's input, that she would work the morning shift.
    • Let's think about this one:
      • Lil' Daniel goes from work from 3PM to 10PM (which, coincidentally, kills his chances of him joining ANY clubs/activities)
      • Lil' Leah goes from work from 9AM to 5PM
      • Leah and Daniel live/work about an hour away from each other, which means that either Leah would have to leave Daniel's place at 7:30AM to go to work or that Daniel would arrive at Leah's place at 11PM, only to see his wife go to sleep at, oh, I don't know, midnight.
Like I said, with the exception of the holidays thing, I like my job - I like my coworkers, I like my boss (well, he is very absent-minded, but I think it may be a Korean "your-boss-is-a-god-so-suck-his-cock" kind of thing), and I like where I live(d)!

Having said that, this (08/18 to 08/22) is my last week with my current employer.

  • My current boss, William, tells me that I can move out whenever I'd like - so, since this is my last week AND the fact that I've paid rent for all of August, I thought I'd move out next week at the end of the month, when I'm NOT working all day and when I DON'T have to travel an hour to get to/from Leah's place.
Well, that's apparently not the case.
William conveniently tells me last Thursday, that I have to move my shit out by the end of the term - meaning, this Friday (I did, however, get to convince him that I should get the last week refunded to me). Did I mention that I have to work all afternoon?

You know what, I don't think I like my boss that much.

So, I start searching for new jobs - and I interview, after interview, after interview - and you know what? Every single place tries to either dick me around, saying that they would NOT give me housing (which they do for, "full-blooded Americans"; you know, honkys), or they just tell me outright, no Korean-Americans (actually, Leah's soon-to-be former employer stated that they don't want African Americans working there; yeah, anti-discrimination laws don't exactly exist here yet) - until I go to this new place.

My god. The place is new, and I go for an interview, at which point, I'm taken aback - the owners are w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l human beings. I mean, wow. So, I get the job (thankfully), and I actually convince Leah to interview with them - and she loves it too! I mean, her other job kinda sucked to begin with, so there's nothing much to compare it with, but I'm looking forward to it, I tell you what.

But, having said this, I get two weeks of vacation from my previous job to getting the new job - which means I have time . . . to TRAVEL! I am excited, I tell you what; for 4~5 days, I think I'm going to hit up Tokyo, as in Tokyo, Japan.

And when in Rome . . ..

Being less ambiguous, here's a lowdown of things I want to see/do while I'm in Tokyo;
  • I want to stay at a capsule hotel; yes, because I'm a nerd.
  • I'm pretty much planning on sticking around Akihabara; yes, because I'm a nerd.
  • I'm definitely going to visit the Kyokyshinkai Honbu; yes, because I'm a nerd.
  • And who could forget? The Kodokan . . . and yes, because I'm a nerd.
    • (While I'm in Korea, I might visit the Kukkiwon. Maybe.)
And, of course . . . (and this one might surprise you guys a little)
  • I might get a tattoo. I don't know about this one, as it will be pricy (it IS Tokyo) and I AM flighty, but I think I'll look into it and if it's possible, then why not? I'm looking into getting a half-sleeve if possible, but we'll see what I can swing . . .. I guess this is also because I'm a nerd(?).
(If I missed anything, or if you have criticisms/advice, dish it out!)

Anyhow, at this time, the plans are still tentative. What with moving and changing jobs, I'd hate to leave it all to Leah willie-nilly; I'm sure she'd do great, but it'd still not be fair.

So, to sum it all up; I'm busy as hell, but I can't wait.