Back Off, He Has A Burrito

I've worked in various schools in various countries. And during my time working with youth, there have been a couple scares, including a bomb threat. But nothing compares to this school which was threatened by a 30 INCH BURRITO. To put it in perspective, this burrito was not too much shorter than some middle school students who might have attended this school.

Speaking of working with kids, why didn't I think of starting RentMySon? My favorite is Zach.

For those looking for famous rides.... Currently on eBay are vehicles used by Luke Skywalker and the Pope.

And speaking of vehicles, I have in my possession my Korean Drivers License. After passing the test a couple weeks ago, I finally have the plastic that proves I can tear up the roads over here.

Currently reading:


So It Wasn't The Next Day

I meant to post some of my thoughts sooner, but I got busy..

I wrote the other day that I would write some of my thoughts on my life so far, but then I thought I could probably fill a book, if not a few web pages with all that. So I'll just summerize it by saying that I'm feeling pretty blessed, fortunate, lucky or a combination of all three. I've seen places most don't, met some great people many never will, done things that few have, and lived to tell about it.

If you were to break it down in some fun averages... I'm averaging about a new country visited for every year of life (although some countries I've visited don't exist anymore), a new drivers license (from different countries) every six years since I hit driving age, and the same for personally owned automobiles. One of those cars was destroyed in a road accident in a country that I didn't live in or speak the language.

All in all, to keep this post short, it has been a good life so far. I only wonder what the years ahead hold...

Currently listening to: The Decemberists -


My Birthday Hike

Today, I took the chance to get away from the city and all the noise.

I wanted to spend some reflecting on my first thirty-two years of spinning around the sun on this little sphere, so I found a great spot overlooking a man made lake.

After an hour of just sitting still, I decided to do some wandering in the woods.

Five hours of wandering and hiking later, I emerged back to civilization feeling a bit dehydrated. Luckily some Korean ladies were sitting outside of a house. One of them began yelling, "mul," and offered me a drink from the garden hose.

I then treated myself to a fine meal of chicken over pasta, with some fresh mushrooms I picked up at the store. Not too shabby for a quiet birthday.

Tomorrow, I will post some of my thoughts as I reflected in the woods. Tonight, my brain and body are tired, and I have to be up in six hours to begin another week of life in the dorm. So nighty night.

Currently listening to: Currently listening to: My iMix for the weekicon.

Favorite Concerts iMix

This weeks iMix is a collection of songs from some of my favorite concertsicon I've attended. As a fan of music, I've attended quite a few concerts. It was tough to pick these songs, but here are a few reasons why...

1. "Weird Al" Yankovic - I've seen him a couple times, well worth the show.
2. Vigilantes of Love - This is the band I've probably seen the most.
3. Will Kimbrough - Caught him with Bill Mallonee in New York City. A great show.
4. U2 - Nothing like being front row at one of their concerts.
5. Trout Fishing In America - A great band from Arkansas. Fun for the whole family.
6. Sting - I've seen him three times on two different continents. He keeps getting better.
7. Travis - I got to see them for free in Freiburg. It is great being taller than the fence surrounding the outdoor show.
8. Dolly Varden - Saw them at the Boarderline with Bill Mallonee. Enjoyed a meal with them as well.
9. Julie Lee - Also performed at the Boarderline.
10. Buddy Miller - I've seen him play with Emmylou Harris and on his own. A very talented man, with an equally talented wife.
11. Big Head Todd & The Mosters - "Band of the Future," at least that is what friend of mine was told.
12. They Might Be Giants - They were on the bill with Big Head Todd. A great combo.
13. Simon & Garfunkel - I can't thank my friend enough for the tickets, or at least his wife for not wanting to go to the show.
14. Steve Taylor - Too bad this guy isn't still recording his own stuff.
15. Rich Mullins - I think I caught ten of his shows.
16. Bill Mallonee - The man who was V.O.L. When I get the chance to see a show, even if it means going to a different country.
17. The Corrs - Attractive, Irish, and musical. What more do I need to say?
18. Bon Jovi - I was able to be at the taping of Bon Jovi - The Crush Tour
19. Stryper - Sorry, it was my first real concert. I guess this is where it started.
20. White Lion - They opened for Stryper.
21. Nena - It was like a dream come true for a child of the eighties, to be front row at a Nena concert.
22. Nelson - Need I say more.
23. The Monkees - I was expecting free tickets, I got backstage passes as well.
24. Lenny Kravitz - One of the hardest working performers I've seen.
25. King's X - I always wanted to see them, I wasn't let down.
26. Elton John - The duet concert with Billy Joel was a great pairing.
27. Billy Joel - Have you forgotten already? See above comment.
28. Coldplay - I don't know what was better - the concert or the stories about my driving to the concert that will be told forever.
29. Beki Hemingway - Saw her on a rooftop in the Chicago area. Later found out that I went to college with her brother.
30. Howard Jones - Another performer at that Nena concert. Long live the 80s.
31. The Hooters - Another eighties band that is still sounding good.
32. George Strait - I'll admit I've been to a few country shows. And he is the king.

Currently listening to: This weeks iMixicon.


As Korean as Baseball and Squid

Tonight I ventured out to check out the local team as they took on the Samsung Lions.

I got to the stadium and everything looked very similar to most baseball stadiums in America. It wasn't until I got hungry and headed to obtain food when I noticed the two biggest differences in the overall ball park experience.

Difference One - Here you can enjoy a nice bowl of Raman, some kimbop, and even freshly grilled squid with your game.

Difference Two - The prices inside the stadium are equal to those outside the stadium. I paid about a dollar for a hamburger. I even picked up a souvenir hat and baseball for the equivalent of $15 total.

Overall it was a great experience. I was invited to join some Korean businessmen to watch the game. I ended up joining some Americans who are teaching at other locations in Deajeon. We discovered that one of the guys and I grew up about 15 miles apart, and knew some people in common. Lets take a break to sing "It's A Small World After All," and on the second verse - just the ladies.

Song break is now over. According to this article, the cheer sticks so popular in American sporting events are a Korean invention. Those sticks were out in full force tonight, as the Eagles defeated the Lions.

In other news... If I ruled the world, my brother and his wife could legally be terminated. You ask why? For knowingly wearing matching outfits. Seriously folks, don't do it. In fact every wedding that I've been asked to be a part of, I tell them I only have one request in return. That request is that the couple getting married never wear matching clothing. No excuses.


Saturday Morning Shows

I miss having some good quality entertainment on a Saturday morning. There was nothing greater as a child than filling a bowl full of some sugar loaded breakfast food, adding enough milk to make it a challenge to transport it, and proceeding to park yourself three feet from the television set for a marathon of cartoons and shows.

In today's world most of the Saturday morning cartoons are gone or are not like the ones when I was a kid. So to help you through this Saturday morning, I encourage you to check out this video. If you are a big fan of U2 and Elmo, you will enjoy the Monster Jam.

Speaking of fun videos, someone just released a video of one of best dorm dads I've worked with. Plus it was shot in my old dorm, so that is cool.

Currently listening to: Single of the Week


What Is Worse?

Last night I spent several hours working on a PowerPoint presentation for the trip to Bohol. Midway through my madness, I began to ask myself, "why do many Asians do the victory sign (or a rather rude sign, if you are from the British Empire) when a photo is being taken." I then decided to ask the internet. When it didn't provide me with a satisfactory answer, I turned to some friends, which were of equal help.

Along the way, I began to take another train of thought. What is worse the Asian "V" photos or the American "Bunny Ears" photos? Or are they of an equal evil in the minds of photo takers and viewers?

So I ask you to chime in with your opinions and comments..

Do you prefer the Asian "V"

Or the American "Bunny Ears"

Currently listening to: Jim Croce -


Time For a Chicken Dinner

In Germany, the dorm I lived and worked in was located between a field where sheep grazed and a corn field. Horses ran free in a field across the street. We made up about ninety percent of the population of the suburb known as Riedliger Bad. It was a thirty minute walk to the nearest McDonald's. We could get no pizza delivery. I could look out my window at night at see hundreds of stars. And our water came out of a well that was in our courtyard.

In Korea, my dorm is in a city of 1.4 million people. I can get chicken, Chinese (the food, not people), and pizza delivered to my door. I can be at a McDonald's in three minutes. I dodge motorbikes, taxis and buses every time I try to cross the street. As I look out my window at night, I see hundreds of neon signs lighting up the sky.

The question I ask you is in which location have I had more naps and other sleep opportunities disrupted by the sound of a rooster?

Currently watching: Vigilantes Of Love -


Too Little, Too Late

Why do I find about some of these things too late? I would have done my part for world peace, if someone would have just taken the time to tell me. And I don't think I can save up for next year to roll around.

Currently listening to: Over The Rhine - The Poopsmith Song


We Passed

I'm happy to announce that I passed my driver's test, and was told that I did it in record time among people at the school. It took me less than ten minutes. Which beats this guy's time by years.

The ironic twist is that last night I had a Korean tell me that I shouldn't drive, as the roads are crazy. He also suggested that I stuck to taking the bus or bicycle, and to avoid taxi rides. Minutes later, I found myself in a cab speeding through a red light. And not just a "just changed when we were in the crosswalk" red, but a "been red since we were a block away" red.

In other news, I spoke to speech classes earlier this week about my career and experience in broadcasting. And although a couple kids said I did well, I thought it could only be worse if I had a boom box playing Tina Turner's "Simply The Best" as I ended my talk...

Currently listening to: Belle & Sebastian -


Learning To Drive (Again)

I'm working on obtaining my third driver's license. As I study for my Korean test, I found these rules a little funny.

1. Do not leave your vehicle on the road to engage in a quarrel or fight.
2. Do not let your passengers engage in disturbing behavior in your vehicle, like dancing, which my hinder safe driving.

Some other driving tips from the manual...
1. When drivers fell the following, it indicates they are tired - Continuous yawning, heavy eyelids, bloodshot or dim eyes, blurred vision or difficulty in maintaining lanes, feeling hungry or thirsty, wet palms, stiff necks or cramps in the hands, nervousness or difficulty in paying attention to driving, hallucinations, slowing down of reactions, HEARING SNORING SOUND, repetitive speeding up and slowing down unconsciously.
2. Most of all, drivers should not put themselves in dangerous situations. Leave cars at home when they have appointments to drink.
3. Driving attitudes reveal the driver's characters. Unnecessary use of horns, shameful intrusion, sudden passing, forcing the preceding vehicle to speed up by giving threatening signs or approaching too closely, making insulting remarks to the drivers who make mistakes, etc. REVEAL THEIR NARROW-MINDED OR TWISTED CHARACTERS. Drivers should try to make every driver's driving pleasant and comfortable through pre-planning, consideration and concession.
4. Some drivers pass other vehicles or speed up illegally due to a lack of understanding or patience. These attitudes break mutual trust and trigger competition, thus resulting in accidents.
5. The reason that night driving is more dangerous than day driving is because you can only see what your headlights display and your are less visible to other drivers.

Currently listening to: Glen Phillips


How Could I Have Missed That

Tonight I was flipping channels, and saw that one Korean station was carrying the Simon and Garfunkel "Old Friends Live on Stage" concert, which has to be one of the best concerts I have seen. Although, two channels over was Kenny G. performing. At first I thought it was an old clip, based on his huge hair, but I was wrong. It was from last night. He actually was performing here in Korea, and I missed it. I did get a good chuckle when Kenny and the Korean host performed the classic Wham hit, "Careless Whisper."

But I guess that is better than watching the two episodes of Cheaters that were on at the same time.

Currently reading:


Some Dyno-mite Legislation

Remember folks, Napoleon dynamite was not just a fun film, it was a piece of art that contains significant pieces of social commentary. According to the law makers of Idaho it is important for many reasons including:

1. The friendship between Napoleon and Pedro has furthered multiethnic relationships. (Cordell's comment - remember Idaho is known worldwide for it's multiethnic ways.)
2. Uncle Rico's football skills are a testament to Idaho athletics.
3. Napoleon's bicycle and Kip's skateboard promote better air quality and carpooling as alternatives to fuel-dependent methods of transportation.
4. Rico and Kip's Tupperware sales and Deb's keychains and
glamour shots promote entrepreneurism and self-sufficiency in Idaho's small towns.
5. Napoleon's artistic rendition of Trisha is an example of the importance of the visual arts in K-12 education.
6. The "Happy Hands" club and the requirement that candidates for school president present a skit is an example of the importance of theater arts in K-12 education.
7. Kip and LaFawnduh's wedding shows Idaho's commitment to healthy marriages.
8. (And my favorite) Napoleon's tetherball dexterity emphasizes the importance of physical education in Idaho public schools.

And let it be known that "any members of the House of Representatives or the Senate of the Legislature of the State of Idaho who choose to vote 'Nay' on this concurrent resolution are "FREAKIN' IDIOTS!" and run the risk of having the 'Worst Day of Their Lives!'"

That my friends is pure comedic gold. Although I might have voted against it, just to be named a "FREAKIN' IDIOT" by the state of Idaho. That would make a great addition to the resume.

Now if only the State of Illinois would take up similar time to recognize the works of John Hughes. For didn't we learn a lot from Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, and Mr. Mom?

Currently listening to: Glen Phillips


Taking the Subway

As one who doesn't enjoy the McDonald's, the options in my neighborhood are limited to Korean food, fried chicken, corndogs with french fries affixed to the sides, and more Korean food. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm loving the Korean food, but it has been my main ethnicity of food preparation lately. In fact, I had some really good Raman for lunch. But tonight when I was thinking about dinner, and realized that Mother Hubbard would laugh at my cupboard. So when Chris suggested Subway, I began salivating like the pavlovian dog that I can sometimes be.

Well, I can tell you the salivating was not in vain. The food was good, as was the company. Now if they only had the smoothies they advertised.

And speaking of American companies in Korea... I've shopped at Walmart here for my DVD player, some groceries, and even a couple CDs. But I don't think I'm going to be finding any major home furnishings there.

Currently listening to: Over The Rhine -


My Bohol Trip iMix

Ok, I've been trying to toss a new iMix out for you each week, but due to a week away, and a week that appeared to have double hockey sticks attached to it, I've been a little slow creating a new iMix. But I now present to you my Bohol Trip iMixicon. It is a small collection of tunes that went through my head for one reason or another during my time in Bohol.

Here is a rundown on the songs in the iMixicon...
1. Chocolate - You can't go a day with out hearing this song at least once, if not twenty times.
2. I Could Not Ask For More - I know it is a love song, but the line "These are the moments, I thank God I'm alive, these are the moments I'll remember all my life," have new meaning when you hear them as you building a home for a family who might not be able to afford one.
3. Love Boat Theme - This was sung by a traveling minstrel on our river cruise.
4. Yesterday Once More - I heard more Carpenter's music on this trip than I did in the seventies.
5. Leaving on a Jet Plane - Doesn't it go through everyone's head while waiting in an airport?
6. The Mighty - I heard this Sting tune for the first time. It was catchy.
7. The Blower's Daughter - This song is hauntingly beautiful. Check out the video.
8. There is Nothin' Like A Dame - A flashback from a high school musical I was in.
9. This Side - This came on the radio during a trip in a Jeepney. I love the Nickel Creek.
10. The Reason - The only slow song played at our farewell party/dance.
11. Korean National Anthem - Several times we had our kids sing this for events.
12. Philippine National Anthem - Likewise, this was sung to us several times.
13. Sand In My Shoes - This came on my iPod shortly after being back. How fitting.

Currently listening to: Bohol Trip iMix


Jazz Hands

While many people this week were bemoaning Daylight Savings Time and having to adjust to the hour difference, I had to deal with my day off being set back a whole 24 hours.

But I coped, thanks partially to some good friends, and this guy. We made a trek downtown, with the main purpose of a photo shoot. Without further ado (as I hate all forms of ado), I give you a couple shots , including a photo of the photo shoot.

In other news, I watched Wrestlemania 21 with some of the guys in the dorm last night. As a small child I never would have guessed that Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper would still be wrestling in the 21st century. But then as a kid I thought the 21st century would provide me with flying cars, robot maids, and cool space outfits.

Currently listening to: Agnetha Fältskog -

No News Is Good News

In case you missed it, the world didn't come to an end. And while the end of the world would have been just the icing on this frustrating week I've had, it is good to know that there is someone out there letting us know that it did not happen.

This makes me wonder if we need a 24 hour news channel to report other items that did not happen, but you might have missed. Just like the fact that Abe Vigoda didn't meet death today, that it would be bad if a tsunami hit Los Angeles, or that Star Wars fans are not the brightest bunch in the world.

So, I'm going to take a short nap. Please don't wake me if the world ends today. And definitely don't disturb me to tell me it didn't.

Currently listening to: Moby -


Got To Rant

Dang, I'm feeling like I need to let out some steam, but due to a little bit of professionalism, I can't really say what I really want to. So instead, I've decided to let loose on something completely random, in the hopes that it will make me feel better.

So today I was checking out Blogs4God and saw a request for a Christian alternative to Xanga or Myspace. For those of you not familiar with Xanga or MySpace, you have two choices: Do a little research about them or just go back under the rock you came out from. Actually, they are both web communities centered around the blog concept. (If you don't know what a blog is, then go directly back under that rock I was talking about.) Basically, it is a way for people to put their thoughts, photos, comments, diaries, and what ever else online for the rest of the world to ignore. In doing this, a virtual community of people is created. It is like one big electronic group hug.

So, for one reason or another someone doesn't feel that these communities are good enough for their Christian kids, and wants to find a really good Christian web community.

Well, here is Cordell's response: What the freak! First off, this is an online world. Try something like getting your kid involved in the real world. Have you tried afterschool clubs, little league basketball (whoops, I forgot you probably have enrolled them in Upwards basketball) or dance classes? It is better for your kid if they have friends they can interact with on a face to face level.

Second, have you ever thought about teaching your kids about the potential for ministry? Sure there might be some bad ads out there, or perhaps bad people on those "non-christian" communities, but wouldn't it be great if they could interact with people of faith? Heck, in the first couple minutes of looking at Myspace, I found that Reliant K was offering their latest video clip there, and there only. Now if Reliant K only offered their music on a religious site, how many people would really see it. In fact, after a little searching on both, you can find many various groups of Christians willing to make a stand for their faith.

You need to think of this virtual community like your own little town. Unless you are Amish (which you shouldn't even be reading this due to electronic deficiencies), you probably don't live in a community made up of all Christians. Now it is another thing if you actually interact with your neighbors who don't believe as you do. But shouldn't that be what we are teaching our kids. That we need to take the Gospel to all parts of the world, physical or virtual?

And I got news for you. Just because it is a "Christian" blogging area, doesn't mean that your kid is going to be free from offensive material. There might be someone spouting off why it is better to be a Baptist, why Calvin was wrong, why you should only listen to musical artists who play Biblical instruments like the lute and cymbals, or God forbid someone posing as a Christian just to sell stuff on a site. If you are really worried about your kid, again, get the kid away from the computer and out with some real friends that you can visibly see.

In the end, I would be less worried about your kid using a good "Christian" web community, and more worried about why they want to tell their thoughts about everything to a bunch of complete strangers. And don't get me started on then having to deal with the rejection that the kid will have to deal with when he doesn't get as many comments as other people.

So that is my rant, and you know what, I don't feel too much better. Perhaps another rant later....

Currently listening to: Esther Havens (who I discoverd on MySpace while "reseaching this post")


Take Me Back

Dido said it best..
Two weeks away it feels like the world should've changed
But I'm home now
And things still look the same
I think I'll leave it to tomorrow till unpack
Try to forget for one more night
That I'm back in my flat on the road
Where the cars never stop going through the night
To real life where I can't watch sunset
I don't have time

Tonight I would love to be still sitting on the dock of the bay. I'd love to have a mango shake in one hand and a book in the other. But alas, work has begun again, and I have a job to do.

I have processed most of the photos from the trip. You know you want to see more photos from my trip to Bohol.

Currently listening to: Dido -



In my world travels, I have had the opportunity to hear the Pope speak twice. The first time was seven years ago this month. A group of friends were wandering out of a Roman pizza place when my super-human hearing picked up the sound of a loud speaker off in the distance. At my urging, we followed the sound until we entered upon St. Peter's Square. There the Pope was addressing a crowd made up of mostly youth.

And then a year and a half ago, I again found myself in St. Peter's Square listening to a Sunday morning mass. A few times during that service I wondered if he was even going to make it through the service.

Now I curiously watch to see the whole process of picking the next pope. I also think of those who were with me on my trips to Rome. Ah, many good times in Rome.

Currently listening to: John Denver -

Unpacking Is Never Easy

I'm back from the trip to Bohol, Philippines. Stories and photos will be coming soon. Just wanted to let all those concerned that I'm back safely. I'm a little tired, a little sore, and could use a couple days off. But if someone could just bring me a fresh mango shake all would be well. Mmmmmmm, fresh mango shakes.

Song currently stuck in my head: