Friday, June 29, 2007

Nothing to do with the French...

So Paris Hilton is outta hail and as much as I don't want to watch her Larry King interview, I have it downloading on my computer right now.

I pretty much feel the same way as the dude who writes for Here's what he had to say...

"It's pretty hilarious how seriously she takes herself. If you've got 40
minutes to kill I totally recommend watching it. Although you'll definitely
want to kill yourself afterwards, so watch out for that."

God, she sucks, and so does everyone in the world who watched that interview. I'll soon be added to that list.

I'm just relieved I have no guns or sharp knives in my presence...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Every morning I eat two bananas and drink a glass of orange juice at my apartment. I then brush my teeth and head to the corner store to buy the main course of breakfast. Usually it's a ham and cheese sandwich, but sometimes the store only has these crazy disgusting sandwiches that it's impossible for me to describe.

If I don't get my ham and cheese sandwich here, I jump on the bus and go to the corner store next to my school. I've only gotten a ham and cheese sandwich here on one occasion, but it's still worth a shot.

When this happens, I have to go for the second option which is a Bonito Bread. It's just a round piece of bread with some sweet brown stuff in the middle. I'd much rather a ham and cheese sandwich but what can you do?

For the last week or two I haven't been having much luck with the sandwich hunt and I've been eating Bonito Breads almost every morning. Today I finally read the package. This is what it says...

"Bonito is a fresh, elegant and dignified bakery goods for the young generation that the meaning of it is 'pretty', 'cute' in spanish. And it gives value above taste to consumer."

I'm glad to know that the company has it's priorities straight in giving me value above taste. That's how all food products should be? Don't you think?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Download your floppy...

I've had the same MP3 player for years now. It works fine but it's just so damn big and bulky. I can't take it with me on the weekends because it fills up one pocket, but I can't really justify buying a new one until this one dies.

So I made a decision. I decided that it's okay to have two MP3 players. One with a hard-drive and large capacity like the one I have now (20 gigs), and another flash-based player for being on the move.

After too much time searching the net, I decided on the Iriver S10. It's super compact, has 2 gigs of memory, and has a ton of great features.
Look how tiny this thing is yet it still has radio, a microphone, a full EQ, and too many other features to mention.

Okay Iriver. Pay me. Pay me now.

I never really understood what a "consultant" does...

Mercer Human Resources Consulting (who ever they are) released their list of the most expensive cities in the world.

Apparently this list is used to "measure the cost" of placing Expat workers around the globe.

The list says I'm living in the third most expensive city in the world. It sure doesn't feel that way.

I'm able to send money home, buy clothes, eat well, and party like it's 1999.

Calgary is the 92nd most expensive city but when I was living there I felt like a bum with no cash and no partying.

I can't understand how living here is more expensive than living in Calgary. Even if I had to pay my rent, I would be better off financially than in Cow Town.

I'm sure this "consulting" company knows what it's doing, but it seems like a bunch of bullshit to me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rites of passage...

I've never been one for tradition, but some rites of passage are important.

For example, some Indian groups have their boys go live in the forest alone with no food or supplies. They are banished from the village for a temporary period, and when they are allowed to return they are officially a man.

Fair enough. That makes sense to me. Being able to survive on one's own is something that makes sense and is relevant to their culture I suppose.

Hockey players also have to go through a hazing. For example, nine "freshmen from the Vermont Catamounts spent a dazed and hellish evening in the team captain's basement, where they were made to strip naked, grab each other's genitals and drink until they vomited."

Sometimes there are "initiation parties that include group masturbation, the shaving of pubic hair, and forced drinking."

Remember, this all makes sense right? If you wanna be respected by the team, you gotta earn it right.

Some "Tilbury Hawks players, Hawks, a junior C team in the Ontario Hockey Association, were told to do pushups and positioned on the floor so that their genitals would dip into cups of beer; whoever did the fewest pushups had to drink both beers."

"In another contest, the team captain placed marshmallows into the rectum of two rookies, with the last one able to push it back out being forced to eat both. Players also were blindfolded and told to lie face-up on the floor with their tongues out, as another person sat on their faces."

Other "rites of passage" include "rookies stuffed naked into the bathroom at the back of team buses, and games of tug of war in which skate laces were tied around rookies' penises. Players had strings tied around their penises, which were then connected to a hanging bucket that other players threw pucks into."

I realize I'm just copying and pasting an article here but it's too good and I can't help myself.

According to "Laura Robinson, the author of Crossing the Line, a groundbreaking 1998 book on violence and sexual assault in Canada's national sport.'The (hazing) you see in hockey is highly sexual.'"

"Robinson, noting that many young players are new to sexual experiences, argues that some of the initiation acts serve as a hidden way for players to explore homosexual urges. 'I think the boys are curious about bodies, but because of their homophobia they had to turn it into something else' -- sexual forms of hazing, she said."

Once again, just a rite of passage.

My intention here was to talk about my experience at the horse track this weekend and how that is also a rite of passage. I was gonna talk about how I feel like more of a man since I blew some cash betting one horses.

But I went over board on my lead in to my little joke and now I'm sitting here kind of disturbed. The next time I watch a game of NHL hockey, all that will cross my mind will be "Shit, I wonder what that poor dude had to do to get to where he is today."

Then I'll wonder "During his time exploring his homosexual urges, I wonder if he enjoyed eating that marshmellow?"

The song I am listening to just said "I remember the fear, I remember the taste." (Shadow by Neurosis).

Damn, how fitting.


What a terrible day.

I only had two classes, so now I'm sitting here in front of the computer trying to look busy. I have nothing to do or prepare that needs doing right now.

The worst part is that I also have no classes tomorrow so it will be the same.

Actually, tomorrow afternoon I teach the teachers for two hours so I'm grateful for that, believe it or not.

It's 2:32 now and I still have another two hours and forty minutes until I can go home. I need to think of an excuse to leave early but I'm having a hard time being creative in the lie department.

That's strange.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Holy shit the NBA finals sucked...

No final best-of-seven series in any league should end in a four game sweep.

The NBA playoff format needs a facelift of some kind.
The East is just terrible and the West is a power house.

Tim Duncan is a bore and Tony Parker is French.
The Cavs never really had a chance. The only team in the East that could have possible put up a fight were the Pistons but they completely unravelled this year. Maybe Big Ben was a lot more important than anyone thought.

I wanted to end this post with a picture I had of Tim Duncan and Coach Popovich hugging and looking like fruits.

I can't find the picture so this is the next best thing I suppose.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

When it rains it pours...

This was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

Quite relevant right now...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Under the bridge...

Yesterday, Matt and I went to the Han river and rented bicycles. It cost six bucks to get a bike for two hours which ain't bad I s'pose.

It was a nice relaxing ride because my bike didn't have a bell so Matt was in the lead. A bell is essential because their are so many people on the path and running over people isn't cool, although would probably be a decent way to meet girls.

Because Matt was in front of me, let's just say we rode at a leisurely pace. But in usual Spence fashion, he seemed to speed up at the oddest times, such as riding up a hill.

Our first stop was under one of the bridges that crosses the Han. There was lots of action down there as you can see by this picture.
First, we have an old lady taking a rest on the asphalt. She looked rather comfortable for a person sleeping on pavement.

On the bridge footers we have another lazy Korean passed out and a group of old Koreans playing some game. I'm assuming the game involves some sort of gambling because it just makes this picture better if money is at stake.

Here's another shot of the goings ons.
Not much else happened that's worth mentioning, but I did get a couple good pictures.
Here's a view of one of the bridges. The next picture is even better, if not almost exactly the same.

When I start my long-overdo 70's inspired psychedelic rock band this is definitely gonna be my first album cover. I'm thinking that the album will be called "Infinity" or "The Never Ending Channel" something thought provoking and vague like that.
I'd name my band "The Purple Lights" as a tribute to my Uncle Dave's band back in the day.

This picture of the subway would also be included somewhere in the album's art work.
Pretty trippy wha'?

After we returned our bikes, we went walking around trying to find out if there was a baseball game. Stopped at a PC Room but couldn't find the info so gave up on the baseball and looked for something to eat.

Matt bought a few $5 shirts in the process in this little market alley

This is a pretty typical alley with all types of little shops and people on the street selling stuff. It's in places like this that I feel like I'm in Asia and Korea instead of some sprawling metropolis.
The odd part is that PC Rooms are all over Seoul. So you're in this old-school alley and there's still an internet cafe smack dab in the middle of the place. See the "PC Interface" sign.

Things like this quickly remind you that you are indeed in one of the world's biggest cities and that you are in developed Asia where technology is a little ahead, or maybe just more accessible than in the West.

As I turned my head I saw this scene.
Three cute little girls hanging out in the alleys and sidestreets they call home. This is likely where they meet their friends and play. I often wonder what it would be like to grow up in a big city, and a scene like this probably one of the least appealing scenarios.

No backyard or grass to play. No park anywhere close by. Just chillin' out in an alley while high school kids also hang out and drink chocolate milk.

Once we left this place we tried to find something to eat. We weren't in the mood for Korean food so wandered around and ended up in the Konguk University area.

We found a Dominoe's Pizza and Pizza Hut but neither had any tables to sit at so we ordered from Dominoe's and wandered until we found some tables outside a convenience store. This is super common in Korea so we went inside, got a couple cans of Coke, and sat outside and ate.

After eating, we went to visit a bar we haven't been to in a long time. The bartender speaks okay English and is a super funny guy. He gave a good lesson on China and told us to avoid Shanghai but to instead visit some other city that I can't remember the name of. He also said Chinese women have big breasts.

He's a super funny guy and even when I don't quite understand what he's getting at, I know it's most likely something perverted.

After a beer here we were both too tired to much else so we just chilled out and watched a movie. Great day and very uneventful night. I really needed a break anyway.

Today, I'm meeting this girl I've seen a couple times and she's bringing along a friend. It's common for a girl to take her friend to meet her potential boyfriend, especially if the guy is a foreigner.

To battle back, I told her I was also gonna take a friend with me. Hopefully this friend is cute and single and likes Matt, and hopefully she also approves of me.

Although I think her approval is a given because I'm such an awesome guy, and I already have that girl believing and telling me of my awesomeness.

I also have some stories to tell about about our first couple of meeting.

Maybe more details on that later, but to quickly summarize, it involves too much drinking, calling in sick to work, and convincing a doctor I'm sick, all with my little female Korean helper guiding me through it all.

Could be trouble...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Who's laughing now...

Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in Korea. Obviously, it is not a memorial for WWI or WWII but for the Korean War.

I just finished reading an hours worth of websites about the war so Im gonna purge some info here before I forget it.

The war is sometimes called The Forgotten War because it was jammed in between WWI and the Vietnam War, and in China they called it the War to Resist America and Aid Korea.

The crazy thing about the Korean War is that the North actually took over 90% of the country but couldnt get Pusan. If they obtained control of Pusan, they likely would have won but the Americans and other Allies were able to hold the city.

President Truman thought this was going to be the beginning of WWIII when North Korea attacked. You had the Soviets supporting the North and Truman knew America would quickly also be involved. They had doubts about the intentions of China, who would later be involved but only when they felt threatened that the Allies would continue onward and invade China once they took all of Korea.

Air raids and bombings by the Americans were quite brutal, but totally necessary. They destroyed just about every strategic bridge, railway, and port that could be used to the advantage of the North. Many cities were also leveled as well, along with their populations.

Both sides launched many major offensives and both sides pushed ahead and fell back.

Click this picture to see how close the North came to taking the whole peninsula.

These are the stats that tell the real story, from Wikipedia.

More than 80 percent of the industrial and public facilities and transportation infrastructure, three-quarters of all government buildings, and half of all housing was destroyed.

According to U.S. estimates, about one million South Koreans were killed or went missing in the conflict, 85 percent of them civilians. According to figures published in the Soviet Union, around 1.13 million people, or 11.1 percent of the total population, were killed in North Korea (with the total casualties of some 2,5 million).

Korean history is filled with hardships. This country has been through a lot of shit over the years. Being sandwiched in between China and Japan had led to countless occupations by both countries, and cities and towns have been destroyed by both nations.

When youre in this country you realize that there arent old buildings and wonderful architecture because they were destroyed during the Korean War, or the Japanese occupation. The cities are really quite bland because not much is older than 40 or 50 years old, and the majority of the buildings werent built nearly that long ago.

Just imagine St. Johns if you destroyed everything that was around in 1950 and started from scratch. It wouldnt nearly compare to its current version.

Friday, June 01, 2007


On our way back from North Korea we had many rest stops. Rest stops must be a part of the culture here or something. It seemed like we were stopping every hour and it was kind of annoying because every time we stopped I would wake up.

Yes, those things are what they look to be . Giant wooden cock sculptures. (I gotta say for copyright purposes that I never took this photo, one of my friends did)

To me, this just seems absolutely ridiculous. In the middle of this restaurant/convenience store is a family of humongo members.

Apparently it has something to do with fishing culture and this isn't all that uncommon in places by the sea.

I think Newfoundland should pick up on this cultural phenomenon, if not only for a few good laughs.