Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to the Grind

All the responsibilities that needed addressing after my return to Korean soil have been sorted, so now I can give you a little update on developments since my last post.

1) I rather enjoyed my trip along the Trans-Mongolian railway.  To tide you over while I undergo some long stints of rigorous photo editing (as a budding photographer, releasing 'raw' images misrepresents my artistic vision), I leave you with this teaser photo from Terelj National Park:

2) The website for a guesthouse I own and operate together with a Korean national has gone live on the internet.  You can see it at  I was thrilled to work with Oisin Conolly of OAC Designs on this project.  We are in talks of collaborating on future projects, he as a website designer and myself as a content writer.

3) Gwangju News Online has released my interview with Seo Young Deok on their website.  It was an absolute honor to meet the man behind such gorgeous sculptures.  

4) I've been organizing a gathering for geeks in Gwangju.  It was initially intended to be a get-together - maybe ten to fifteen people - over beers and pizza, but it grew into Alleycon 2013.  It's been a lot of work, but I see it as a labour of love.  What better way to show appreciation for the friends and acquaintances around you than to bring them all together in celebration of the things they enjoy?

5) The history pages I typed were printed and bound for the English camp.  It gives me a certain amount of pride to see my hard work presented in such a professional way.

That's all for now, but I'll be sure to keep you posted on future developments.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

History for Children, Part 2

With the summer vacation coming up and summer English camp soon after, I again decided to write up some history pages on important or influential figures.  Using the same format as last time, I wrote about:
   Ching Shih
   Leif Erikson
   Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   William Shakespeare
   John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
   Vlad the Impaler

Just a warning, the Vlad entry does get a little disturbing near the end.  Children not only need to know about the good in the world, but also the absolute evils of which men are capable.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


It's been really busy in Gwangju lately, for me at least.

I've been named an official business partner at a friend's guesthouse, since I've contributed to marketing and internet outreach with my writing skills.  As my contract at Sahmyook specifies I may not collect money from another source, I have certain... arrangements... you might say.  We had an interview yesterday with a Korean cultural center and it went quite well.

Authoring content for the guesthouse website (which will go public in a couple weeks) has led to other opportunities in joint effort with a friend in Ireland.  His forte is web design, but he couldn't write a sentence to save his life; his words, not mine.  Whenever he gets a job, he'll send the client my way for writing.  I'll do the same.

I am currently working on the material for my summer English Camp.  Again, I am doing history and have thus far finished profiles on J.R.R. Tolkien, Shakespeare, Vlad the Impaler, and Ching Shih (a female Cantonese pirate).  It's an arduous process of love.

Throw teaching into the mix and I'm lucky to get some sleep at night.

In other news, it turns out my substitute home had been chosen to host the 2019 World Swimming Championships, but have lost government support due to forged application documents.

That's all for now.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Looking Internally

I've recently been quite enamored with a television series called Inside Nature's Giants.  An amalgam of veterinary scientists and comparative anatomists perform necropsies on some of the natural world's most iconic - and yet enigmatic - creatures.  The show, though not for the squeamish, is absolutely fascinating and deserves at least one watch.

Luckily, full episodes can be found on Youtube.  They include:
   1)  Python
   2)  Hippo
   3)  Sperm Whale
   4)  Kangaroo
   5)  Polar Bear
   6)  Cassowary
   7)  Racehorse
   8)  Camel

I don't think these are safe for young children, but I leave it to your discretion.  Happy watching!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Business as Usual

Well, it's been an interesting day to say the least.

I've been approached on several occasions for several opportunities.

The first was kind of thrown at me.  Pedro Kim, a Gwangju native and owner-operator at Lonely Korea tours, recently opened a guesthouse.  The first of its kind in this city, Pedro's House promises to gain traction as the expat community here spreads the word to visiting family and friends.

How did I get roped into it?

Well, Pedro enlisted my help to manage the Facebook page, market the guesthouse, and ensure it is visitor-friendly.  He cited my experience with European and Asian hostels as the reason for seeking me out.

The second was definitely my own fault.  I guess I've made a name for myself as an event promoter on the city blog, having done articles for International Tabletop Day, my photography exhibitSave the GIC Day, and a fundraiser for underprivileged children.  Which is why the comment below didn't really surprise me:

The third thing was my own idea.  I contacted a friend and the Gwangju International Center in hopes of collaborating to build a tourist map for the city.  That way, anyone who comes to visit will have a much easier time finding their way around.

Remind me to take a breath once in a while.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It is surprisingly easy to get involved with local publications in this wonderful city.  I guess it mostly comes down to the small number of willing participants.  That being said, it's quite gratifying when a magazine editor approaches you - an amateur photographer - and informs you one of your photos has been selected as Photo of the Month.

I call it Kaleidoscope.  In my two years on the Korean peninsula, I've never seen as much color as I do during the days surrounding Buddha's birthday.  Thousands of paper lanterns around the city seemingly glow beneath the sun, each hung with the precision and gentility befitting a revered deity.

I was drawn by the colorful reflection on the car hood and windshield, but only got one opportunity to snap this photo as the Korean attendant had no idea what I was doing and chased me off with some choice phrases.  Luckily, my first angle captured exactly what I envisioned.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Roller Coaster

Nobody has captured the absolute horror of depression as eloquently as Allie at Hyperbole and a Half.  Be warned, there are some instances of strong language.