dal niente

Month: June, 2008

What would you do if a zombie outbreak occured?

Random thoughts about what to do in the event of zombies:

  • The threat:  First of all, we’re going to assume that the question means a particular type of zombie.  I’m talking about the kind that basically wants to eat you (brains or whatever, it doesn’t matter after you’re dead) and if they don’t rend you limb from limb, then their bite and blood is infectious.  I’m also assuming that the zombies aren’t of the “28 Days Later” variety, because if they’re like that, well, frankly, we’re kinda fucked and I don’t see any way around it.  I’m assuming the generally slow sort.  Maybe they can walk very quickly, but I’d say that their top speed would be speed walking speed.


  • The environment:  I think I’m going to have it a lot tougher than most of you folks for one reason– I’m living in South Korea.  We have a vastly denser population here and that means that the zombie menace is that much worse, by sheer fact that the numbers are that much more against me.  The urban planning of South Korea also makes it very difficult because, at least from where I live, it’s quite difficult to get to countryside.  Lets put it this way– if you can survive a zombie outbreak in an Asian country with Asian population density, you can definately survive on in North America.


  • Order of priorities: The first priority is self-deffense equipment and allies, in that order.  If you find allies first who don’t have weapons, that’s not going to help, because they’re just going to slow you down.


  • In my apartment, I’d go with my hiking pants because they offer me wider range of movement.  I’ve got a kitchen kife, which is the only real weapon I have.  I don’t think I’d bother with the shinai becuase it’s the 4 piece kind, and I don’t think I have enough stopping power with that.  I have a pair of wooden nuchucks– I think I’d bring that along just in case because it’s compact and frankly, I think I can crack a zombie (or misbehaving human) much harder on the noggin with that than I could with the shinai.  I have a GPS, which would be very useful, I’d definately bring that along.  I’d bring my leather jacket and wear it with my forearm/elbow guards, just because if I’m going to be whacking zombies my arms are the closest thing to them.  My padded biking gloves are a must.  They’re thick enough to withstand a bite, but loose enough that if someone does chomp down good I can probably slip my hand out  and sacrifice a glove rather than infection.  I don’t think I’d use a motorcycle helmet, because the extra weight and lack of vision might be troublesome.  But I would wear my racketball glasses, in case fluid contact in my eyes could be infectious.  I’d also wear my air filter mask over my mouth for the same reasons.


  • Allies:  Looking for allies comes next.  There’s two ways to look at this situation– either you look for allies quickly, before they’re eaten or turned, or you wait a little longer, and that by natural selection means that the potential allies who are left are the ones who are capable of survival.  I’d probably opt for the first, just because if nothing else you could use the company and it’s good to be in numbers, it just makes simple tasks a lot easier even if they have no combat effectiveness.  If I knew where a military base was, I’d go there next.  (Unfortunately, I don’t)


  • Shelter: Look for shelter is next most important.  Some people might say transportation, but frankly, as I mentioned, the population density in Korea (not to mention the number of cars that will be abandonned on the roads) will make it pretty difficult to drive anywhere.  You’re more likely to get trapped in a vehicle than you are to escape in one.


  • The best place I can think of is one of the catwalks on the underbelly of the expressway.  Yes, I’m afraid of heights, but I think that zombies will have a hard time coordinating themselves for climbing.  It’d be nice to have some rope to tie myself in in case I roll while sleeping.



  • After a while: After a while, surviving will come down to not just fighting zombies, but finding food, supplies and information.  Meat is going to spoil quickly, so you don’t want to touch any of that.  It’d be useful to break into a local supermarket (if they’re not already broken into) and do so with a group of people.  In the first few days you want to take advantage of things like milk, before that spoils– it’s going to be a long time before you find any of that.  Eat the stuff that’s that’s going to go bad first– things like cheeses, bread, donuts, muffins– stuff that fatty and greasy, because chances are you’ll be sleeping outside and could use the extra fuel.  There is very little good reason to get any alcohol except for medical purposes.  But the liquid is heavy, the bottles are heavy, and breakable. You could use bottles to make molotovs, but the priority should usually be to outlast the zombies, not to keep on killing them– killing unless they’re particularly in your way would just take too much energy.
  • I’m not a fan of firearms if only because the noise attracts too much attention.  But, if I find a gun, hell yes, I’m going to use it.  This probably means breaking into a police station.  Chances are, the police are the ones who have survived– depending on their mental state, they may or may not want to share with you.
  • I would say, actually, go to a butcher shop, get yourself a cleaver first.  You need something that can do good damage.  And don’t get just one– get a few.
  • Find a motorports store as fast as you can and get yourself a wide angle visor because you don’t want anything splashing on you.  It’s also a good place to pick up some lightweight body armor that will help you get around the city.  Also in terms of sports, get yourself an aluminum baseball bat.  It’s light and durable.  I’d that once you find yourself a good alumnimum bat you can ditch your cleaver.
  • If you can get a SWORD, then you’re really styling.  I think that a sword is an ideal weapon, as long as you’re smart about how you use it.


  • Strategies:  You have a lot more leeway if you’ve got a group.  If you’re in a group, then you can very your weaponry– I’d say that it’d be pretty important for someone in the group to have something like a polearm.  It’s important to note that you should alway sgo for a headshot.  Aim for between the eyes so that you’re sure you hit the brain.  Anything else and you might not stop the zombie.
  • Next, health .  You’re as likely to die of sickness and hunger as you are of a zombie outbreak, if you survive the latter for a sufficient amount of time.  That means you need to fortify, and maintain at least a certain degree of quality of life.  If you can find a place with internet, that’d help immensely.  But then again, who knows if you even have power?
  • Get to know the people you’re with, especially the ones with level heads.  In this situation, the most important weapon is your brain.  The most dangerous things in a secure position, to both zombies and you, are the brains of your allies.  You have to try and keep an eye on your team’s morale.
  • Figure out ‘entry tactics’.  You need to delegate work and do things with a method– if you want to look for supplies, you need to get in a routine.
  • Remember, headshots.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a sword– if you stab a zombie in the gut, he’s just going to come right at you and eat your face off.  If you’ve got a sword, I’d say try to hack for the neck, don’t stab, because your weapon may get stuck and if you’ve got multiple targets you’re in trouble.
  • Don’t engage, whenever possible, unless in the deffense of special territory.  Everytime you fight, you take a risk.  Just walk on, and only take out the trash where you need to.
  • Get your tools in a camping store, not a hardware store.  Hardware store tools may be more effective, but they’re less polyvalent.
  • Choke points: When deffending a position, you want to concentrate your offense on choke points to minimize the ennemy’s superior numbers.
  • Rationing: save your ammo, save your food, be efficient about everything. 


The Worst Day Since Yesterday

Training everyday for the past week has been really taxing on my system and I think that it culminated at my belt test this morning.

I fucked up.

I mean, i got through my forms, but I hesitated, and paused a few times here in there in mid performance.

It annoys me because I worked so hard for this but when it came down to it, I couldn’t remember.  I got lost.  I hadn’t been sleeping well for the last week because of Operation Swordfish, final essays and report card week, I really haven’t been sleeping as much as I normally would.  And yeah, when the time came– I mucked up.

This was to be stage one out of two in a series of tests for me to get my first level black belt.  I’m pretty sure I failed.  But I still have a week of intensive training, every day again, before the next part of my exam.  I’m not exactly sure if I even qualify for part two since I mucked up so much on part one–

sleep will be on an all time premium because I’m backlogged on several corrections and projects for work, aside from Swordfish…

some friends of mine are coming to visit from Montreal.  It’ll be great– but that also seeps out on sleep time….

but this is just to say, this work is going to get a lot rougher before it gets better. 

I’m really frustrated that I fucked up on that exam– I knew all of it, but then, my body decided to quit on me.   I knew all the moves.  I’d practiced the sequences a hundred times.

… anyway.  Time to redouble efforts.

Because of my hectic week, I’ve been tending to resort to a lot of movie and anime watching for quick entertainment.  I don’t have time to go for drives so much anymore, and frankly, the body is usually kinda tired.  So I plug in.

And everytime I watch an anime wwith a cast of characters that I particularly enjoy, I get that same feeling–

… that longing to be a hero in my own story.  And to have friends too who also are going for this same thing.  Of a bunch of people who beleive in something. who have a story together.  Something, some great plot that makes everything connected.

When one prays for strength… what does one find?

Is it strength, or just an opportunity to become strong?

Well, here’s the opportunity I suppose.  Lets see how this game turns out.

The Academy (4)

  The fantasy movie that our family watched was “The secret forest
Terabithia”.   The two children found a secret forest and they traveled there. I
could remember
the old memory (memories) after I watched that.

  I made a secret
place with my friends when I was
in 1st grade. I
chattered with my friends and hid some snacks in the secret place. And
we traveled many places(sure just in apartment). When I
am (was
lucky I got
five hundred wons in

  But there were some problems
I played too much
so I got some scolding. And a guard
er of apartment found my friends and me, so we ran
away. It was hard
that running with a heavy school bag.

  But I can’t break the promise
with my friends. Although I got some scolding from my mom
but I always went to the secret
place. And I wanted to make more members but I couldn’t because we need
to protect there.

  Now all my friends moved the house (away
or are in another classes. So the secret
be come back. Its a
little bit childish,
but I made new secret places
with my new best friends.

I put a score on it, typed in my comments, andI closed the essay.  The last line seemed out of place– I didn’t usually get a twist, and not often a bittersweet one, from the kids who wrote me essays.

I took off my headphones, and the teachers room filled the void of the Temptations.

“Whatever happened to bird flu anyhow?”

“Well duh.  Cows are bigger than birds.  The birds get to sneak by while everyone worries about the more obvious threat.”

“Jeezus! Check this out.”

It was a photo in the front page of the Joong Ang Daily.  A riot cop had been separated from his phalanx, and six protesters were stomping him to death.

“Man, that’s hardcore.”

The mad cow issues with US beef have been the daily talk of the teachers’ room lately, and with due respect– even though mad cow isn’t nearly as threatening as the average South Korean thinks, the steamrolling effect the issue has the entire country in an uproar.  I’ve seen the president’s popularity rate go from elected president down to the current level of 3% approoval by the citizens.

In short, for whatever reason or another, people hate president Lee Myung Bak.

Mad cow is just one of the issues that people are trying to tag at his toes.  There’s talk of empeachment, especially since negitiations have opened the borders officially to US beef as of a couple of days ago.  It’s hard to know exactly why people hate him or the beef issue so much– I mean, yes, the mad cow scare back home was pretty bad when it did come up.  It begged the question– if they were so upset about the imports, then they simply didn’t have to buy any imported meat.

But of course, that’s really simplistic.

The truth is that the president’s infamy was the real problem– Mad Cow was just being used as a stake.

Steve is leaving the workplace today.  His contract’s up.  He was my neighbor– he borrowed my distortion pedal from me, and I have his amp.  We did taekwondo together for a few months.  We’ve never exchanged a single cross word with eachother– we were the acquaintences, the co-workers, the kind who never hung out but who were always of the opinion that the other was a good guy, and so no introductions were necessary and we always got along, except when I was backtalking him about his laziness in taekwondo.  But that’s another story. 

He’s leaving within a half week for Thailand and it reaffirms a truth about overseas teaching that was originally professed to me by my ex girlfriend– people come and go.  You make good friends and they leave.

I suppose I’m lucky then that Steve and i were never great friends, because all the more to lose, right?

Ah, but doesn’t that sound cynical.

On some level, I think part of the job made me even more introverted than I used to be.  I look around and there have been changes.  Or perhaps it isn’t about changes.

Korea’s like alcohol– it doesn’t change you per se, but the circumstances of the typical ESL teacher’s situation makeit like a multiplier.  If you’re the kind of person who survives alone, then that’s especially what you will become.  If you are the person who thrives on the social situation, that’s who you will become.  This kind of experience, really, just lets you become who you are.

Text messages on a rainy rainy day

Zanshin: I feel like I should strap water drinking hippos to my every appendage.

Jinryu: poseidon would not be pleased with your tyranny!

Zanshin: Let him weep his salty tears! NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO TELL IN THE SALTY OCEAN

Jinryu: so dies teh man cast away who wishes but a mouthful of fresh water.  instead he pickles, as salty as the common pretzel

Zanshin: If such is to be my fate, then I will die as I have lived: marinated in salt.

In Spite of “Responsability”

I don’t really have much use for excuses.  In an ideal world, sure, I could cash one in for a dime, and so for every day I go through work with the people I know, I could probably make a few bucks easily.  Spread that over the life of living in Korea, and I could live off no-shows and rainchecks alone.

Despite what everyone likes to think about themselves, they really fall into systems.  People follow lots of rules.  And why?  Is it because they’re afraid of coming up with their own strategies?

What I’m saying is that there’s a difference between people who try to be badass by going out and doing something stupid and there are people who are badass because they get something done.  The inherent difference is noticible when it’s crunch time– stupid things won’t save you when the flames are under you.

And so it is that now, like every month, the final essays and report cards are due. Teachers are scrambling for cover– they’re trying to come in early to work on the computers, or they’re calling up their ISPs at 9 in the morning saying that they need their internet back online because they have assignments for work due within the next day or two.

Good luck, is all I can say.

What I mean by breaking the rules is that when push comes to shove, and it’s a night when our essay corrections are due the next morning for instance, everyone just goes totally apeshit.  They can’t function anymore.

I don’t mind it in most cases because it doesn’t affect me.  But every now and then, it does.

We had taekwondo tonight and frankly, I wanted a workout with the gang.  But they weren’t there.  Two out of four of the people I work with didn’t show up because they had report cards to do.    Sure, that’s a great excuse.

Come on.  I’ve got report cards too– it’s perfectly possible to do the report cards, and the essays, AND go to taekwondo in the same 24 hours.

Where’s the discipline?

People wear those livestrong bracelets and I just kinda think it’s ironic.

Maybe I’m being picky, and I’m sure those who know me will probably point out that  my lifestyle isn’t exactly for everyone.

But don’t you ever find that people get stuck in systems?

They get stuck in routines– this or that is demanded of them and then they have to do it.  If anything else comes up, they’re basically on lockdown and couldn’t use an opportunity because they’re so entrenched deffending their routine.

I’m rather tired at the moment from the day’s events so my brain really is at the end of it’s rope to explain this… but let me put it this way.

I beleive that for all the things that we get good at and all the routines that we come to enjoy, we ultimately need to have the mobility of lifestyle or at least the reserve strength and ability to just break out, even if only for a few hours here and there, to just do whatever the hell we want.

And by that, I mean things like when you’ve got responsabilities  backed up all the way up to the start of the wazoo.  I mean when people want things from you left and right or you’ve signed up for this and that.   You know what’s on my plate right now?  I’m going to taekwondo 7 times a week, I’m going to Korean lessons, I’m handling one private tutoring job, I work almost 60 hours per week, and I go to church on sundays, and have lunch with friends on a bi-daily basis.  And that’s just my ROUTINE.

When something comes up, I can drop it all and without missing a beat, I can throw in a coffee meeting from midnight until 5 in the morning, or I can go for a jog, or I can take a phone call for a couple of hours, or I can go to the riverside to do some writing, or I can watch the sunrise, or I can go on a 100 km roadtrip… when I want to do something, I just do it.  I am talking about spontaneity.

And don’t get me wrong.  Doing things on the fly isn’t easy.  It takes a lot of work to put yourself in a position in your life where you earn that kind of leeway to make that possible. 

But I really don’t get this idea that people feel so powerless to do what they want.  No, that’s just rationalization– the truth is, most people don’t have the courage of dropping their routines, even if only temporarily.  We’re so concerned at building fortifications that we never notice that historically the greatest conquests were performed by generals who understood the importance of mobility.

In the words of Captain Picard: “Make it so.”

You want it, then just make it happen.

Dead Weight

In general, I prefer longer hair.  I would cut short during before the first games of the LBA badminton season since I needed that extra aerodynamic edge.  I just felt tougher, or something, to have short hair.  It kept my targets focused on the game, it made me feel like I’d sacrificed something for my team.  It made me feel a bit leaner and meaner, so that I could cope with the rigors of the tasks demanded of me.

Lately, taekwondo’s been getting really tough.  I’ve got a belt test in a couple of weeks (again??) and because it’s a pretty important test, the grandmaster wants me to come in to train in the mornings five times a week in addition to the normal night class on monday and thursday night.

Well, there goes the rest of my free time.


[11:18:28 AM] Jinryu a dit : oh motherfucker
[11:18:30 AM] Jinryu a dit : i just sneezed
[11:18:39 AM] Jinryu a dit : and my whole body was wracked with blinding pain
[11:18:45 AM] Jinryu a dit : i actually gagged, there was so much fucking pain
[11:18:51 AM] Zanshin a dit : Wow.
[11:18:58 AM] Zanshin a dit : That’s pretty impressive.  Are you going to live?
[11:19:29 AM] Jinryu a dit : well apparently I’ve just been exhausted within an inch of my life
[11:19:32 AM] Jinryu a dit : maybe this was their plan
[11:19:58 AM] Jinryu a dit : because those instructors feed on the destruction of human flesh
[11:20:10 AM] Jinryu a dit : we’re like suffering farms for them
[11:20:23 AM] Jinryu a dit : but they know how to rotate their fields just right
[11:20:31 AM] Jinryu a dit : oh motherfucker
[11:20:35 AM] Jinryu a dit : i should really dust this place
[11:20:38 AM] Jinryu a dit : god kill me
[11:20:43 AM] Zanshin a dit : Maybe your gwangjangnim uses them as the bad cops.
[11:20:48 AM] Zanshin a dit : So he can be the good cop.
[11:24:25 AM] Zanshin a dit : So, uh…  why are you downloading Captain Planet?


So yeah, I think I’m going to have to cut my hair again.

I’m going to be droppng MSN Messenger off the long list of “applications I turn on when I boot up” because there’s like a hundred contacts that I don’t talk to anymore.  Personal contacts mixed in with random one-time-small-talks from RsM’s client base, or info connections or whatever.  Basically, a whole lot of people who I don’t really need to talk to anymore, especially since I don’t run RsM from the frontlines anymore.

I never realized how many Xangans actually use AIM over any other IM program– being from Montreal, I suppose it just wasn’t the thing to do.  But, I am trying to reconnect with some old buddies that I lost contact with when I forgot my password after the last time I did a HD wipe, so I’m now on a new AIM.

Anyone who wants to find me online for a chat can still find me on Skype (tcjinryu), gmail (tcjinryu) or AIM (jinryu0).

I don’t remember how much I mentioned about my work at work, but we’re now in the midsection of the workbook projects.  The basic idea is that I’m in charge of some dudes, and within the span of a month, we need to come up with a textbook’s accompaniment materials.  I’ve traditionally been a pretty laid back kind of guy, so though I end up in positions of leadership I’m honestly not all that suited for the job.  I don’t really liken myself to a captain so much as I do a commando.  Not that I’m really that awesome– but what I’m saying is that when I do things, it’s usually for my own survival and if anyone wants to learn anything from me I expect them to stay out of my way and learn what I beleive by my example rather than me explicitly telling them something.

This group work business has never been my forte.  But yesterday, the project was coming together.  There are four teams working on, altogether, 8 texts.  I can say that OUR group, whose projects we’ve collectly codenamed Operation: Swordfish, is producing some really gold stuff.  While other groups are stapling together marker and A4 made single hardcopy stencils, we’ve gone the exta mile with Microsoft Publisher with tri-color layouts and even clipart.  There’s something for everyone– activities for students to do a mock assembly line of a shoe sweatshop in Vietnam, along with images of Captain Planet delivering the lesson on Earth Day.  We’re using Japan’s “Hard Gay” for sexual awareness (we weren’t so sure about how much environmental work he’d done, so we decided to divide their tasks according to what needed to be done and the manpower we had. CapPla might have been just as good for the job, but HG’s environmental resume was missing).


Yeah, there’s stuff for the students, and stuff for the teachers’ bitter need for inside jokes and innuendo.  I told my group from day one:  “I’ll be damned if we’re just going to make giant worksheets with markers like a bunch of savages from the 1980s educational system.  We’re going to fucking use computers.  If you’re not comfortable with that, you can join someone else’s taskforce.  We’re going to go lightspeed.

Taskforce is one of those buzzwords I like to use to make us feel more awesome.  I’m not sure why I said lightspeed.  I might’ve overdone it.


You should see the “Swordfish Props” that we made up.









It Coulda Been Worse

So, with regards to the girl who was all hung up over her ex boyfriend,

she called me back at about 3 or 4 in the morning, I can’t quite remember.  I was on the phone until about 5:30 or so, and flickered on and off through sleep until I think my consciousness got lost in obscurity at about 6:30 am.  Then my the alarm chime on my cellphone rang at 11:00AM sharp because I was supposed to go to the dojang and practice with some of my peers.

Half awake, I got to the dojang by 11:05 and none of the the other guys were there.  I finished my routine at about noon and worked up a pretty good sweat.  (The other dudes never showed up.)

At some point, I was doing a particular kick and I slipped on my own sweat, completely bottomed out, and rolled backwards and barely managed to stop myself from breaking my neck.  I actually heard a few snaps, crackles and pops for a moment there– normally that wouldn’t happen, but because I was so sleep deprived I guess I was a bit slow on the breakfall.  The odd position and the momentum of the teachnique didn’t help and I think for about an entire second, my arms, instead of taking the weight off my neck, were actually driving my full body weight against it.

But this is all to say,

it coulda been worse.

When I really think about it, I’ve always been really lucky.  Some say that luck is an intersection between preparation and opportunity, but I wouldn’t be so self-assured to assume that every situation I’ve been in where I could’ve been hurt was waslked away from by sheer virtue of my own abilities.  No, sometimes, it really was just luck.  A few more degrees this way or that, and inch or two here or there, and I wouldn’t be able to count the number of times I could have been seriously hurt, or even killed in my life.  I’m not even talking about the dangers inherent with practicing martial arts.  I am with humility including all those stupid times I flew down a flight of stairs or ended up on peoples’ windshields.

I’ve just been pretty lucky.

It’s a funny scene. Imagine the re-iterated epiphany that comes to a guy when he’s rolling left to right in the fetal position in his own sweat in the darkness of an unlit dojang, clutching his own neck and internally screaming “Jesus my neck FUCK”

It’s certainly something *I* would laugh and point at.

It’s certainly better than a limp rag of a body just sprawled on the ground with the face frozen in a strange expression, and pointing slightly the wrong way.

Well, it’s only wednesday, ladies and gentlemen– but as always, a near death experience has shown me the light.

Statistically speaking, the moment you get out of bed, your put your life at risk.  How far we get in life, really, depends on how much we’re willing to risk– of our bodies, of our pride, of our sanity.  Passion and madness are almost synonymous, the only difference being in social semantics.  Go out there and live your day as if you’re invincible!  If you turn out to be wrong, well, you’ll never live to regret it right?

What’ve you got to lose?

Dangerous things will happen to you weather you like it or not.  I say, if your car has no brakes, at least start steering, roll down the window and start screaming.  It is, at times, difficult to muster appreciation for the bones we’re thrown– but it is our choice to either get caught up in the apparent lack of fairness in the universe, or to take advantage of our time on this planet to just have a fun time in any way we can.

You’re allowed to peek backwards every now and then, but for the most part– pretend you’re invincible and brave.

Spoken Too Soon

I was just in a skype video call with someone when she gets a call from her ex boyfriend.  “Oh my God, kill me!” she cries.  And then suddenly, the videoconference hangs up.  She won’t pick up any more calls, and doesn’t respond to any of the text messages that I’m sending her telling her to tell him to back the fuck off and put her foot down.

In the last week, I’ve had to talk to her on at least 3 occasions until 5 in the morning about her relationship with her ex.  All of those end with her red and puffy eyed.  The problem: he’s cheated on her.  And in fact, he’s still dating someone else (new) right now.  But she’s never quite gotten over him, and would probably take him back in a heartbeat if it weren’t for the fact that he’s got a current girlfriend.  Well, who knows what those details are– the bottom line is that she’d take him back.  She’s hoplessly got a case of one-itis for her first love.

When she asks about my past relationships, she sneers at me sometimes and gets angry at the fact that I didn’t make those relationships work.  On a good day, she’ll lecture me about how the reason why I haven’t found true love is because I don’t know how to work hard for a relationship.

When teachers get into the last few weeks of their one-year contracts teaching overseas here in Korea, they have this habit of counting down the days.  They have doomsday clocks.  Sometimes down to the hour.  They will occasionally glance at their watches and say something along the lines of “I’ve got 453 more teaching hours left.”

A new teacher who’s been here for 3 weeks tells me that he finds that that practice is pathetic.  He believes that his students are great, and even the worst of them, he’d never stoop to a level of self-loathing or job-hating where he’d count down the days to the end of a contract.

It’s just that, there are certain things that, once you’ve been through them, you know that someone else’s idea on the subject is the result of naivety or a judgment made too soon on a situation that they’re only experiencing for the first time.  So what do you tell people when you’ve been there and done that?  How do you save them the troubles that come will inevitably come as a result of their misconceptions?

Windows Updates

I really, really find it annoying when Windows needs yet another update.  Everything on my system fron bandwidth to processing capacity just gets chocked off.

Despite common misconception, I am not psychic

The silly thing about people is that they don’t know how to use communications technology.  Back in the day, people ran into eachother, made plans, and then stuck to them.  Someone sent an email with specific details, requested a confirmation, and then shit got done.

Nowadays… nowadays people abuse the fact that text messages and even calls can be ignored or missed and replied to at a later time.  I like text messages because I can casually fling out invitations and people can bite if they want.  Then we can proceed if there’s interest.  If there’s absolutely no reply to my invitation, I find it a bit rude that they couldn’t at least say no, but well.  What’s important is that when I do send an invite and someone does bite, that they actually make this fact known.

Let me illustrate.

I send a text message to someone asking if they want to see Kung Fu Panda.  No response.

Since we had made plans for dinner the night before, I send a second message, wondering if we’re still on for dinner.   No response.

Hours later, I get a message “What time is the movie?” and when I reply with the time, I get no confirmation.

While eating dinner with Zanshin at almost 8pm, I get a message: “Do you have plans for dinner?”

An hour later at about  9:20, Corey knocks on my apartment door wondering if I’m heading to the train station at Beomgye to meet ‘everybody’ for the movie.  I say… what?  Apparently I was supposed to meet the group at Beomgye for the movie.

Which is clearly false– because not only are these 3 people meeting at Beogye not ‘everybody’, but the movie is at Anyang, not Beogye.  I point this out.

“Really?” says Corey.  “But they said that you were in charge and that you were going to meet everyone at like… well, now.  We’re supposed to be meeting them at 9:30 at Beomgye.”  (Might I point out that at this point, it’s 9:35, and that Beomgye is a 7 minute drive away.  Strike one, sir.)

But I know where I’m supposed to be, and when.   “Hey, look,” I say.  “I’m meeting ‘the group’ at Anyang at 10.  I don’t think we’re in the same group.”

“But aren’t you the organizer?”

“No, I sent you an invitation, to which none of you people replied to.  So as far as I or ‘the group’ knew or knows, you’re not watching the the movie.   But I think you should meet up with ‘the group’ anyway because you’re late.”

Only minutes after Corey steps out of the apartment, Yenni calls.

“Where are you guys?” she says.  I groan.

“I’m at home.”

“Why are you at home? Why aren’t you here?”

“Because I didn’t know I was supposed to be there.”  I want to say it’s because I’m not fucking psychic, but she sounds pretty upset.

“Are you coming here?”

“No, I’m just waiting to head out to Anyang.  It’s still too early for me to go.”

“But what about the movie?”

“The movie’s in Anyang.  I don’t know why you, Corey and Nathaniel are meeting in Beomgye if you wanted to see the movie with us.”

I hear cursewords in english and Korean on the other end because she’s now realizing that not only is she at the wrong station, and that the two guys, Corey and Nathaniel, are both late, but she’s also received a message from someone in the main group (my group) saying that nobody knew they were coming and that all the seats are sold out.

I haven’t sorted out all the details yet, but as far as it seems, Nathaniel made some assumptions that fucked over his group, and he’s trying to pin it on me.  When i met up with the main group, they were saying “What’s up with those people?”

I just said I don’t know. 

As far as social etiquette goes, I think we should abide by a few guidelines about the way people operate.

  • If clarification is needed, the then ask for clarification.  Don’t assume anything.
  • Don’t be late.
  • People are not psychic.  This isn’t an imperative, it’s a statement, but I think you can find ways to apply this idea.
  • Realize the lack of correlation between your fantasy world where everything works on sheer command of your will and the real world where the rest of us operate.  I mean, come on: the dude assumed that I’d meet him at a time that wasn’t defined to me, at a station that didn’t even have the movie, and further, that I’d buy tickets for three people when I wasn’t even told if they were coming.
  • Don’t try and be an asshole and blame miscommunications on someone else
    when YOU are the one who just assumed all sorts of outrageous shit.
  • If clarification is needed, then ask for clarification.

It’s amazing how I’m surrounded by English teachers but nobody knows how to fucking communicate at times.