Vices we love: June 2005

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Too, Too much?

I always had this thing- big things tend to make me uncomfortable. Huge buildings, wide open spaces, SUV's, conspicious consumption- never could get into it. This is one reason I like it here, numbskulled, dishonest employers and narrow minded natives aside. Things are...manageable for me- even my pygmy sized apartment suits me better. Anyway, today I got my hands on "imported swiss hazelnut chocolate" and it's, you guessed it, too much. Too big, too sweet. Didn't finish it. Is this reverse culture shock? I'm on day 178 for all who are interested.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Today, Asiatown had a surprise visitor, a gent Asiatown himself did not believe existed. Yes, it was the Lord
And Himself declared:

"I have come to you in a glucose-induced vision grasshopper, to advice offer. I see you struggle still. Allow me to impart wisdom as follows:
Never before have you money much had. Now you may if opportunity you seize. Allow your conscience to rest at leisure. Try for little. Have fun with young ones. They know not what they seek, except mindless entertainment. Your sixth grade class today...oy sight to behold it was! No books. No work. No English much-or is that muchee, eh? Oh we enigmatic Canadians...hee.
But young ones smile. Young ones enjoy. Even Julie the she-beast enjoy. Never forget grasshopper. 'tis is your true mission on the ROK. Worry not. Fear nothing. Try little. Have yea a grand old time until fool money runs out of. It is what they seek."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Operation I Don't Care in full swing

Orientation day. Boss came. No aircon but if you open the door and the window, the draft will take care of things. Brilliant, no?

Michelle is showing her "teaching chops." For the past week, she has been alternating between showing "The Incredibles" and "Shark Tale" to the kids while she talks on the phone. Wow.....

I'm open to reading suggestions. Seems there is a "no foreigners allowed" rule at the Ansan Tax Office.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

There is really no need to take any of this seriously

Being the eager beaver foreigner I am, I sent my boss a list of radical proposals that may get more students to sign up (we have 120 slots and 73 are vacant). Prime suggestions included airconditioning in the classroom, and a tape player for the casettes that come with English Time. (It is quite difficult to play tapes without a tape player.) He is touched. Thrilled. Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of my initiative. He invites me to break bread at his office. Agrees with my stupendous proposals. Thanks me accordingly. And while at it proposes to cut my pay by 10 percent. That's thanks for a job well done, I guess.

Now, this is the sweetest job in the world- about 25 hours a week, or 100 a month, and next term (starting in July), that will go down to about 22.5 hours a week, as we are combining two nearly empty classes into a half full one. But the point is, I signed a contract for 2 million won a month and now he wants to make that 1.8 million. Says he'll help me get a permit for a second job (I would be working from noon until about 4:45 pm so an evening job teaching adults from, say 6 to 9 pm would be fine by me and add another million won a month to my salary.)

I guess it's time (again) to go into Operation I Don't Care. You want to run around class, ok. You want to poke each other in the ass, fine. You don't bring your book- no biggie. It's Do Nothing time.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Recycling my greatest hits

It is during times like these- and there are many times like these- when I feel the need to discuss some of my past employers so that the present situation does not feel as excreable.

Showing my lack of ethics, I worked on more than a few political campaigns. These were the kind of gigs that made you feel like you were accomplishing something and that feeling would compensate for of compensation. I finally clawed my way to the top and was invited by a young lady to manage her campaign. This is what transpired:

Middle aged Jamaican lass named Keisha. A bit the nervous sort and about the size of a toothpick but what the hey. Turns out she is running as a Republican in Harlem. Clever gal. We sit down on the stoop and hash out THE GREAT CAMPAIGN.

Me: "So where is your office?"
Keisha: "Oh my brother in law lets me use the basement in his antiques shop."
Me: "Huh. Who is your treasurer?"
Keisha: "My brother in law."
Me: "Wow. So do you have any fliers?"
Keisha: "Fliers?"

This goes on for about twenty more minutes. Finally we get down to STRATEGY.

Keisha: "So you're gonna win this right?"
Me: "WE are going to win this."
Keisha: "Oh."
Me: "Do you go to church?" (I'm a heathen Yid but this is Harlem and you're running for city council. Use some common sense.)
Keisha: "Not really."
Me: "Start."
Keisha: ""
Me: "Well there is ABC A.M.E, DEF A.M.E., GHI A.M.E. (this list goes on for quite some time.)"
Keisha: "And what do you do there?"
Me: "Just umm....listen to the pastor and uh...dress up, I guess."
Keisha: "I don't know. I don't really like black people." (I couldn't make this up if I tried.)
Me: "You're black."
Keisha: "I guess. Huh."
Me: "So start liking yourself pronto."

She got 25% of the vote. I made twenty bucks (I am not kidding-and she made me write a receipt for it) and let me tell you, I earned every cent.

Korea, have I told you lately how much I love you?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Mongolia here I come

My grandfather, as part of his grand "hiding in third world countries to avoid Nazis" tour was invited to Mongolia for an education conference. I never met the man- he had a heart attack when I was a baby- but am sure he would be thrilled to know that I'm planning to go to Mongolia between August 8 and 15- having been granted a week of liberty from my employer.

The closest I have ever come to this land was a booklet from the Peace Corps which detailed about thirty destinations, including Mongolia. (I thought about applying with the Peace Corps but their "evaluation process" is ten months long- besides which they can, theoretically, assign you anywhere in the world. Can you imagine? "Hello there Asiatown. We at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcome you. Please hold on for a few moments as we sharpen the blade on this excellent guillotine. It's of French vintage and remarkable resillient after decades of heavy use.")

Still, come on it's MONGOLIA. Mare's milk. Deserts. Fatty dumplings. Camels. The Gobi desert, which I plan to hike until I get lost and become dehydrated and even more deluded than I am now. And yes, teaching jobs can be had there too, for the scrumptious salary of 900 American dollars a year.Wow! 900 bucks! That's a lot of camel puckeys.

Fresh fruit update: After a brief, near-orgasmic encounter with fresh peaches and apricots, I am left unfullfilled once more.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hermitude at its best

I have many, many moments when I want to live in a place like this. You need to register to read the article but it's free and believe me, worth it.

Some choice quotes:

"One hotel in town is rumored to be haunted and another follows an old tradition by serving drinks mixed with pickled human toes (the establishment says they are dehydrated and preserved in salt) donated by people in their wills or the unfortunate who suffer frostbite in the winter. (Those who imbibe are installed in the sourtoe cocktail club.)"

"Lots of residents, including the leading politicians, have criminal records."

"All I can say is, Yukon me, I con you."

"I helped bring television to my community," Mr. Jenkins said, smiling on a recent day. Without a hint of remorse, he explained how the town bought subscriptions for satellite television at residental rates registered in the names of dead people..."

"Yukon's premier, Dennis Fentie, was himself convicted of heroin trafficking..."

There is I wish blogger had a cut and paste function. One more tho.

"For its residents and regular visitors, Dawson has a powerful redemptive quality, a place where everyone gets a second chance and people of all classes, ages and professions feel protective and accepting of one another."

Sunday, June 19, 2005


I was talking to Edria and she suggested that I keep a journal because so many things happen to me, I have a hard time keeping track. I've noticed this too- writing a resume is torture. But I shall give it my all. Some names have been changed to protect...ah....myself.


Spring 2006 (projected)
CELTA Certification Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (I am hoping)
Cambridge English Language Training for Adults
Sponsored by Oxford University

Summer 2000
Paralegal Studies Certificate Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn College

B.A. in Political Science (focus on International Relations) and English Literature
University of Memphis Memphis, TN
Member of the Jewish Student Union (peripherally)
Member of the Black Student Union (tangentially)
Worked to elect the first African-American student body president
Served as an intern during the 99th legislative session in the Tennessee State Assembly for Assemblyman Ulysses Jones Jr. and Speaker James O. Naifeh

Educational Experience

The current public school that shall remain nameless until I'm canned

Ansan, South Korea May 2005-forever?

Teaching English as a Foreign Language to students between the ages of seven and thirteen, between grades one and six. Using a variety of communication methods to achieve desired results, including the Asher TPR method, grammer-related audiolingualism (as required by Korean curriculum), and the communicative approach.

Picking Our Noses and Passing Gas Academy

Seoul, South Korea January 2005-May 2005

Working as an EFL instructor in a private academy in eastern Seoul. Teaching students of various ages and levels of aptitude who were grouped together on the basis of student and parent requirements. (Too harsh? Too kind?) Position prematurely terminated due to sagging enrollment and financial constraints imposed upon the institution by the lack of any coherent business plan.

GRT Communications Inc.

Guangzhou, China September 2004-November 2004

Employed (unbeknownst to myself) on a tourist visa, the duration and validity of which was called into question by Chinese government authorities. Worked as a copyeditor of translated new items. Also taught adult students in small groups and sometimes individual sessions.

City University of New York

New York, NY Summer 2004 academic term

Adjunct professor of legal studies. Instructing sixteen students in a paralegal certification course offered by CUNY BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College.) Although I was offered a second term in the fall, said offer was made only after I committed myself to GRT Communications.

P.S. 153

Washington Heights, NY Fall 1999 academic term

Employed, ever-briefly, to teach small groups of second and third graders remedial reading skills. Provisionally certified by the state of New York to teach Social Studies, English and Kindergarden to 6th grade. Position terminated due to applicants' utter inexperience and cluelessness as well as employers' desire to hire a politically connected relation for the position in question.

Legal Education

Touro Law School
Fall 2001-Spring 2002

Completed the 1st year of Touro Law school prior to academic dismissal. Was later diagnosed as being learning disabled due to childhood stroke. Won Moot Court competition Best Oral Argument. Earned 'B' grades in Contracts and Legal Writing and Analysis.

Legal Experience

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton and Garrison LLP
New York NY
September 2003-March 2004

Can not discuss the specifics of my employment due to binding confidentially agreement of unspecified duration. Will discuss it anyway. Worked ten hours a day, six days a week coding discovery documents in a securities class action case. Yes, it is as dense as it sounds.

The New York State Court System as well as the federal jurisdictions of the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
2002-2004 Inclusive

Translator and interperter for the above courts. Served as the official (read, only) Hungarian translator and interperter at these courts with the majority of work coming from the Eastern District and Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Coudert Brothers
New York NY
Summer 2002

Interned at Coudert, handling international business communications and transactions between Coudert's American, Hungarian and Israeli offices. Worked under the supervision of senior partner XXX XXX. (G-d rest his soul I assume. He wasn't born yesterday. Or the day before.)

Additional Employment

Worked as an editor at Vault Inc. on a freelance basis.

Worked on several New York State and federal political campaigns including that of Howard Dean, John Kerry, Assemblyman Jonathan Bing and City Councilwoman Annabel Palma.

Interned at the radio show "Live With Steve Feurstein" with Steve Feuerstein and Tom Weiss.

Worked as an extra on several New York movie sets.

Involved in several business ventures, most notably membership in New York City Cashflow and one of its sister groups, Tel Aviv Cashflow. Also represented an inventor who sought to sell his product to various state agencies and paper mills. (The product was essentially a turbine that would generate hydroelectricity.)

Computer Skills:

Anything and everything connected with legal software, office software or teaching software.


Fluent in Hungarian and English. Know a plethora of Russian and Hebrew obscenties. Can survive, for brief periods of time in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

Worked on a number of political campaigns in New York City.
Worked on a free lance basis as an editor for
Worked as a free-lance journalist for various publications, conducting interviews and doing research on a wide range of subjects.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


June 19 1865 was the day word reached down to Texas that Lincoln ended slavery- that was 140 years ago. History is usually closer than you think.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Welcome Mr. Kim. We have been expecting you. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Vices we love

G'day. Today we will tackle a touchy subject. the continued Koreanization of the U.S. school system. You see, the U.S. finally understands what Korea knew all along: students with money=high achievers; students without money=slackers. This is Korean teaching philosophy in a nutshell. As a fellow teacher once said "he is stupid- I mean low on cash."

Now we come to the crux, that is, the heart of the matter. Knowing what makes a good student, we must decide what makes a good teacher. This too is easy to learn. Fun, easy teacher who gives top grades= good teacher; unfun, difficult teacher who makes us do stuff= bad teacher.

There you go grasshopper. Ponder in peace.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Look closely at the label of this fine peach drink- this picture is truly "Korea explained". Posted by Hello

hanging out at the Great Wall in Beijing shortly before being fired and deported from China because I did not have the proper Visa. Future tip: Have the right visas. Further tip: Trust no one, especially your boss. Posted by Hello

the first rule in class Posted by Hello

my cousin Vijay traveling from Goa to Tel Aviv. Posted by Hello

capturing my utter degeneracy- i was busy chatting up two lovely lesbians when stepping into fresh mud.  Posted by Hello

From back when I was able to go to taekwondo school- a tournament near the COEX mall in southeast seoul Posted by Hello

On duty at Ansan city schools. Dressed to thrill utterly bored 14 year olds. Posted by Hello

My life in pictures

Two more weeks until Michelle is out of my hair. As part of the countdown, I present: my life in pictures. Do enjoy.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Get lost

I might be coming to a website near you as a contributor to get lost magazine ( Gosh, what should I write about? Any suggestions?

I got paid today

Some of you uppity university professor types (you know who you are- I hope to be like you one day) may consider an event like this ordinary, but rest assured for us working folks on the mean streets of where Asia meets Siberia, this is something of a treat. Korea being Korean-minded, this accomplishment did not come without high drama. A re-enactment:

5:30 pm- school ends.
5:45 pm- mad dash to the atm. Checking my balance. Celebrating because I finally understand enough Korean to make it through the transaction. Such, such are the joys.
5:50 pm- confirmation that I have a total of 37,700 won in my account, or about 38 bucks. This is only 1800 dollars short, which is not bad for Korea.
5:55 pm- Get those fingers working. Ring ring. My boss actually picks up the phone. Most un-New York like.

"ahh Asiatown. You want your money, yes?"

Again, un-New York like. In New York, they don't answer the phone and if they do they pretend not to know why you're calling.

"That would be nice."
"Sit tight for a few hours."

So I sit, tightly. Hour one passes. Hour two blazes by. Finally, just when I have given up all hope, I'm 1.7 million won richer. Whew...another close call averted.

Stay tuned for our next installment "The phony bankrupcy and associated firing" to be aired in about 4 or 5 months.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I am annoyed; a rant

I am annoyed because....

....Michelle doesn't lift a finger except to make extra work for herself so she can look like she is working
....nobody put any thought into this program beyond 'hey lets get a token white guy and exploit him!'- which is the core of all EFL programs in Korea but you need more than that to survive
....nobody tells me anything: What are the holidays? Who is in class? Did the kids change their name? What name should I call them now?
....the foreign guy is responsible for everything: Oh so we don't come to class, don't have our books and always beat each other up? It's your fault migook. (Yes, they do call me that. They also give me the finger and point at their genitals for some odd reason.)
...I have a pile of paperwork to do. Which would be okay except that 1) I'm doing Michelle's paperwork too and 2) nobody speaks English at the school so nobody will actually read a word of it.
...I have no materials. No tape player. No CD player. I buy my own sponges and markers. And I'm supposed to work magic.
...The kids are getting bored. Since when do these little shits have such a grand sense of entitlement? Since their parents play kingmaker with their money and make up for their disinterest in their children by letting the kids pick the schools and programs they will attend.
...I still have not been paid. But this may change tomorrow when I'm supposed to get my salary. If it doesn't tho, I'll have a lot of free time Monday since my motto is "no payee, no workee."
...And the food stinks. If you cover everything with red pepper paste, it will all taste like red pepper paste, okay? And why can't I find decent fruits in June?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Riding in a cab- an ode

With apologies to Weird Al's truck driving song....

Riding in a cab,
Riding in a cab,
Going to hell and coming right back
I'm riding in a cab on the mean streets of Ansan
With no clue where we're headed tonight.

Riding in a cab,
I was riding in a cab
With an ajosshi snacking on fish heads
Riding in a cab on a mission to E-Mart
Battling to forestall scurvy for still another night.

Riding in a cab,
Ready for a nutritious snack
But all I seem to be able to get
Is a rotten mango that's no better than a Big Mac.

Riding in a cab,
Disheartened at best
I wonder what it's like in the decadent West
Riding in a cab back to the college dorms tonight.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I've revamped the settings to allow for anonymous comments. Y'all behave yourselves now, ya hear? (Before moving to Tennessee, I watched Forrest Gump about 20 times to copy the accent. It was not an unqualified success.)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Contestant number 2- not a professional pic (obviously.) Posted by Hello

Men vs. Dogs (Same difference, eh?): Round 2

One of the things I miss about New York is just sitting on the park benches in the summer, relaxing and people watching. New York had a little of everything. Dogs. Rodents the size of dogs. Carriages. Beat up wrecks. Mercedeses. Old Albanian women with excruciating body odor shared the sidewalks with Puerto Rican teens in muscle t-shirts. African-Carribean-whateverian women, usually dressed up no matter the season, leaving me with a heart palpitation or three. Of course this was New York, where social contact is a sign of potential psychosis and a smile could easily mean a trip to the hospital. (Sample convo on the 'A' train:
Latin American woman: "Yeah I'm watching you. You is watching me. Motherfucker.") You don't really get that in Korea- there aren't many parks or free spaces from what I've seen and the merchants are so relentless, they will pounce on you if you spend more than a microsecond in their company. But not far from the hole I call my home is a fried chicken shack and the sidewalk in front has two puke green leather sofas to relax on. I did it tonight and it was great. A little dog came out of the fried chicken place and we seemed to get along fine until (warning: triple redundancy ahead) a brain-dead Korean male picked up the pooch and swung it around in the air. I swear, Korean men should be placed in a special leper colony for the socially daft. Anyhow today we face off between beast and dog. Contestant numero uno. In this corner, Stephen I. "Steve" Cohen, former Memphis PD advisor and polio survivor. Steve's dad, the doctor in charge of providing polio vaccinations in Memphis, forgot to get his kid in on the action. I swear to Buddha. Couldn't make this shit up if I tried. Steve "Wildman" Cohen once gave an interview to a Memphis weekly which included showing off his porn collection and discussing the joys of cannabis. L'chaim!
For contestant number two, see above.


I'm a teacher by trade, writer by preference and international vagrant partially by choice. Hoping to hone the writing part, I sent a query letter to Get lost magazine. Hopefully I can take my demented ramblings to a larger audience soon. In the meantime, read this about the Congo, almost certainly my next EFL destination. I can feel it already. I think I'd be a natural mercenary if this English teaching thing doesn't work out.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A sure thing

The first time I went to a casino was at the ripe old age of 12. Already quite the intercontinental man of mystery, I sought to broaden my vast horizons by looking at bright shiny things. I have no vivid memories of that night of pre-teen Vegas debauchery but do remember two things: Winning at the slots and having said winnings confiscated by casino officials who evidenced a touching, if unexpected, concern for my welfare.

Fifteen years go by. I grow older, wiser, heavier. I finish college but not law school. I manage to avoid marital bliss. Spend some time on America's fine interstate system- wait, make that a lot of time. Try to become a hobo. Fail due to old-country yuppie instincts. Try to become a yuppie. Fail due to insufficiently blue blood. Wind up in Asia. Bum around Korea a bit. Hang out with Pakistanis, Indonesians and Russians who are so down on their luck they consider Korea a pleasant destination. Learn that I'm relatively lucky in the genetics and birthplace department. Have the spiciest curry ever. Yum. Spend saturday night bouncing around Sangroksu station. See lights! See glitter! See K-Vegas as it was meant to be seen!

Memories, filtered through a selective and sexually charged membrane recall that night at the casino. They convince me that casinos are filled with beautiful women whose degree of affection for me is directly proportional to my income. (Which is 0 at the age of 12, but let us not dwell on that for now.) Inspired and now living abroad, I open my eyes and see before me casinos on every street. I decide to stroll in- or rather, my hormones decide for me. And what do I see? Korean ajosshis in various states of old farthood staring at slot machines. Slightly younger ajummas serving them drinks with sly sideways glances of resentment thrown in. I've been cheated! Where is the glitz? The glamour? The faked affection? That is a casino! To be piss drunk and stoned to the gills- preferably simultenously- while surrounded by surgically enhanced beauties who will play a prominent role in the eventual removal of your feeding tube- That's living!

Korea for dissapoint me once again.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I write letters II: An open letter to my soon to be former Korean co-teacher

Hi there:

I know we haven't spoken very much lately (if ever), and seeing as you are leaving in about three weeks time, I would like to leave a little note expressing my appreciation of you, as well as maybe offer you some advice.

See, I think you need some advice: You are my age (A Korean 29) and yet you seem determined to have a stroke within a year. This would not be good for you....

"Oh hi Michelle. I was just writing me...some writings. What's up?"
" you have a second?"
"Sure. Let me finish this sentence, 'kay?"

....and the hand-wringing has gotta go. And the lip biting.

"Oh yes Michelle. How can I help you?"
"Well, you see, a parent called and wanted to know how come her kid is still Asian?"
"Excuse me?"
"See, you have been teaching English here for like a whole month and she was hoping that Chun would have turned blonde and blue eyed by now."
"What the gosh darned heck are you talking about?"
"Blue eyes pretty, see?"

Also, you should grow a spine. You're Korean. The kids are Korean. The principal is Korean. The parents are Koreans. You guys all use chopsticks and squat toilets- hopefully not at the same time- you're no worse than any of them...

"Michelle? Angel?"
"Yes, asiatown?"
"That is, by far, the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard."
"Excuse me?"
"I am here to teach English. Is there anything you want to tell me about, like, the courses?"
"Well, parents, they pay a lot of money, see?"
"A hundred grand is not a lot for keeping Kim Jr. out of their hair for a few hours. We should double it."
"Oh gosh no! We just couldn't..."
"Sure we could."
"Oh wilickers...I just, um...could not..."
"Well how about if we tell them that I won't come in anymore until the rates double?"
"Bye asiatown."

Whew, you do scare easily, don't you? Really, don't be like that. See, I am not Korean. I could live here until I'm 90, marry a Korean woman (heaven forbid!) and spawn a dozen Lil' Kims but will never, ever be a member of the tribe. At least not this tribe. But you? You're a natural babe! The regulation length black hair. The lifeless gray suit. The lack of even the slightest tantalizing got it all. You even speak the lingo, so to speak. So what's stopping you? Speaking of which, what is that noise...

"Dear sweet mother of Goddess..."
"Hi asiatown. I guess the kids are a little rowdy huh? Ha-ha..."
"Seth, climb out of the garbage can. Chun don't you dare hit Luke. I said don't you dare! You little turdball...Sohn why are you crying sweetie? Yes, I know Chun touched your hair with a bargepole. Don't be like that. Aww now..."

.....hey listen toots, I just changed my mind. You're not fragile. You're lazy. I can see the Visa on your desk and the phone cradled by your ear. I know women. (This is a lie. I know jackal squat about women.) You're buying shoes while the little runts are on a rampage? How dare you! This is going in your permanent record young lady! I'm sure the semi-democratic people's republic of korea keeps permanent records for lower caste young women like you and this is going right there. As soon as they allow non-Koreans access to government buildings.

(Note: this is actually satire. She is a sweetie. A little lazy, a little neurotic and positively el sucko at classroom control but sweet. On the offchance that you know me and know her don't dare mention it. I got, like taekwondo connections.)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Howdy ho.... Posted by Hello

Hey there pal Posted by Hello

Bon bons

If I am ever reincarnated, I want to come back as a Bonobo. In other animal news, take a look at my best and possibly only friend above.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ramblings after midnight

I can't get myself to sleep-mostly because of Dria. Maybe one day I'll write the post of all posts about her (though she is fond of her privacy so maybe I won't. Plus, even after all this time, I have thousands of things I should learn about her.)

I try not to get too close to people- having moved around a fair bit and not really having a place to call home, it's something I didn't really learn how to do. Well that and having a father whose maxim was "I don't give a fuck about your feelings." Words to live by. It's one reason I sort of enjoy living in Korea- nobody knows me and there are no 'norms' that I need to abide by (except to keep up appearances). I can go to work, come home and not make any lasting, emotional contacts which are certain to be broken. Next stop Alaska. I can gut salmon on the slime line. In the winters, work on the great American novel that nobody will read.

I like being the glib 'above it all' sort. And being insanely in love with Dria doesn't really do much for that image- actually, it scares the hell out of me.

She has arrived

Got a note that Edria successfully navigated down to Austin. Glad you made it. Take care of yourself. I have faith in you.

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