Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stayin' In...

Last night a few of use went to the college area of Seoul near Hongik University.  It was a good time filled with music, drinks, dancing and rubbing elbows with some locals.  Today, though I felt fine from the activities of the previous night, I was what you'd call a slug.  I left my apartment for about an hour to go on a walk... but other than that I've been inside fiddling around with some chores and the computer.  I'm now starting to get a little bit of cabin fever!  I would have to guess this maybe only the 2nd time since being in Korea that I vegged out all day... I mean I still woke up at 7:30am and here it is almost 6pm!  Aggghhh!  I guess sometimes the body and mind just don't need outside stimulus... sometimes they need to turn off and go on autopilot. 

I can't believe it's going to be November already!  It's moving so fast I need to really get organized and have a clear vision of what I'm doing next... Obviously it's been on my mind a lot... I've listened to advice from family and friends and I hear a reoccurring theme... Things will work themselves out... I believe that... but they will only work themselves out if I pursue that in which I want... Sometimes I don't think I'm as actively involved in my own life.  My attitude was one of, "Oh well... maybe next time"  "No big deal"  "Something will come along" and I see the laziness in that attitude now... I understand I can't control every aspect of my being... but I need to start controling those things in which I can.

Alright I gotta get out of this cave!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

True Ramblings

I usually write everything down in a journal first then edit myself a bit and type it out... But this is an unedited, outloud thinking, spur of the moment account of things in my head...  I see from my past posts, the title of my blog 'Korea' may be a bit off.  I've mentioned it only fleetingly... Sometimes it is hard for me to write about the things that are right in front of me... the everday occurrences... They seem unimportant... 'what I ate today' 'my one minute walk to work' 'the lunch break that went by too fast'... these are all things we all experience... just in different settings... but maybe it is these unimportant and sometimes mundane aspects of life that need to be looked at a little more closely.  Are we missing out on half of our life because we coast through these moments?  I'm gonna make an effort to be conscious in these times... I don't know what it'll bring... maybe boredom?
Korea... what can I say about it?  It's become like any place you've lived... It's where I live, it's not my home, but it's where I live.  The people are friendly and yet they'll run right into you on the sidewalks and in the subway... I've gotten good at the shoulder check... I don't move out of the way anymore... let them.  I'm bigger than most... but I still can't shoulder check an older lady, but they are the worst.  I guess they've earned the right to smash through the throngs.
I've been thinking a lot about the next step... what is it?  Options on the table, well hopefully they turn into options.  1) Get a teaching job in California.  That would be the ultimate... for various reasons... 2) Get a teaching job in the USA.  I'll move anywhere right about now just to get started. 3) Back to school?  Masters?  Something different? Almost feels like a waste of time right now... 4) Stay in Korea another year... if the option is on the table and I don't have any interviews in the states... do I do it?  It may be 10 months away, but it's rapidly approaching.  I sometimes feel like I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone where I play the character who can't quit attain the very goal that he feels will complete him.  Only to realize too late that he didn't need it... Am I chasing the wrong dream?  Is teaching that important to me?  I know I like doing it... but doors really aren't opening... I realize most industries aren't hiring... but there are jobs out there... I mean I do have a great one right now... But I don't see myself staying here indefinitely... It just feels like starting my real adult life is on hold until I obtain an actual teaching job in the states... I can put down some roots... I can start living...  Oh I'm living now, smelling the roses, and soaking up as much of Korea as I can...  But this isn't my home... I'm renting... Maybe I'm too focused on tomorrow and not enough on today... Life is what happens to you when you're too busy planning it... Right you are John, right you are.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whatever comes to mind

Today consisted of:
1.  Gym (almost got sick from overexcursion... but it kinda felt good)
2.  Shower
3. Laundry (throughout the day)
4. Lunch @ ButterFingers (Chive Waffle with sauteed onion, fried egg, and roasted cherry tomatoes!)
5. Grocery shopping @ EMART (yea, it's like a Wal-mart)
6. Looking for fresh Basil (A lot harder than it sounds... still haven't found any)
7. Drinking coffee w/ my friend Kate while reading (good local shop)
8. Relaxing at home (internet, watch a little Daily Show online, just chillin.)

Today was a good day!

Lesson 3:  Know what buttons you're clicking before doing so... (This happened on Thursday at work)
I was typing up my Fill in the Blank tests for the month.  I have four to type every month and I do them weeks in advance.  I like to be ahead of the game.  Well the word program I use at school is all in Korean, but the commands are the same.  So I typed up all four tests went to hit print and accidently shut the window instead.  Oh yes, of course I didn't save it!  Shit!  At least I left myself plenty of time to do it later...  but still that just makes me wat to punch something!  (I finished them on Friday... and I saved them)

Friday night was fun... Saturday morning was tough

The headache hurts less and less as the years go by... The Jameson and Guinness only compliment the symphony of the night.  They take their gracious exit when the sun rises, only to leave me with the blurry images of the night before.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

California is On My Mind

This is my California...

The light dances through the chloroplast and casts its last greenish hue of the early fall on the sidewalk.
I caught a glimpse of California in Korea today.
I ran through the crowded streets as if everyone was at a stand-still.  The sweet smell of the decomposing sycamore leaves transported my thoughts... transported my being.  My pace increased and my heart pounded.  I stretched the limits of my abilities and the pain was still unable to reach me because I caught a glimpse of California in Korea today.
She walked into the room with her informal elegance.  The lights softend and so did my heart.  Her smile would melt even the most ironclad of men.  The vibrations of her voice resonated in my head as if the unwritten works of Mozart were a secret only I posessed.  The Beach Boys were right. I wish they all could be Californian Girls.
I caught a glimpse of California in Korea today.

by Josh Niehues 10/7/10

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Travel through space and time
Rewind that moment in my mind
Come back to me, that enigmatic image
You seem to be just out of focus
You're just out of reach
I piece together fragments of you...
it's incomplete...
how can you be incomplete?
I feel I'm losing the essence of you
Like the fleeting rays of a sunset

by, Josh Niehues (10/6/10)
continued at a later date... perhaps

Monday, October 4, 2010


(picture from )

They walk with their heads hung low. 
Their shoulders slump as their arms swing slowly to and fro. 
Defeat drips from their brow. 
 Feet soaked in a soup of blood and muddy water become numb to the cold, numb to the pain.
They shuffle through the dregs.  The torrents of rain add to their misery.
The eyes of the horsemen ever watchful underneath their worn leather calvary hats pierce through the souls of their captives.
If you could see into the eyes of these down trotten boys, you would see experience beyond their years.
A life raised in nature... a life apart from what some would call civilization.
But this latest experience... indescribable.
A blank spot, as if they tried to forget... needed to forget in order to retain their sanity.
They stared into the abyss and saw the purest darkness, the emptiness that accompanies a person when all is lost.
They stare at the ground moving like the walking dead...
Only one thought enters... Why?

by, Josh Niehues
Oct. 4th, 2010

A Day...

  It was a good night the other night.  Everyone came over for an informal dinner party.  Kate and I rocked the stuffed bell peppers!  Wild rice with sauteed yellow onions and mushrooms.  I marinated some pork and added it in... Dylan brought a pumpkin stir-fry which was stellar and Leanne hooked up some Pizza School!  Sammy locked down the dessert with melon popsiciles.  Azzurra provided ingredients and cookware.  It was a team effort!
  At the time of this transcription I was sitting outside a little coffee house in my neighborhood.
'A little Korean kid is playing hide'n'go seek with me through the window.  It doesn't matter were you're at, little kids are just cute... no mom, that doesn't mean I'm ready to have any... gotta find a vessel first.
  It's a perfect day... At any moment the ominus gray clouds could punish us with torrents of rain, but they hold back and let us enjoy the autumn day.'

It's quiet outside except for the continuous humming of traffic outside of my window... It has become that white noise that I hardly register anymore... like the dryer running at night... but then the buzzer goes off and it startles you... Similar to the blarring of the bus horns as they run red lights...