Junsa: Destroyer of Worlds

Korea experienced an earthquake recently. I was initially pretty sure it was my fault because every time I go somewhere, something catastrophic happens in the general region in which I find myself. Mad Cow, Chernobyl, Fukushima, New Orleans flooding, volcanic activity in Washington, my son, etc. I decided long ago that I am at odds with the universe.

Then things started falling into place. It isn’t just me. It’s my last name. During my last tour in Korea, Doc and I met a distant relation bearing the same last name as us. As it turns out, Laura was at odds with the universe too as evidenced by her deranged bird besiegement. If they weren’t flying into her house and dying at her feet, they were landing close enough to her house to vomit dead fish at her. I personally think they were just looking out for her, but it can be disconcerting to have fish projectiles hurled at you. No pun intended.

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Then there is my brother, The Brain. Dogs have harassed him for as long as I can remember. This began in Panama when he ran through someone’s carport and a formerly snoozing German Shepard woke to nearly tear The Brain’s left butt cheek off. Since then, he’s been a devout cynophobe (I had to look that up because dogophobe didn’t sound quite legit) which should not to be confused with gynophobe. Seriously. I just looked that up and it’s a real thing. He’s certainly not a gynophobe. They may have scared him briefly during adolescence, but I’m pretty sure he’s good now. Except for maybe his spouse. He’s definitely a little scared of her. Anyway, I posted this pic at him because I’m a good big brother and don’t want him to forget the things that made him who he is:

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He informed me that “When going to someone’s house, you never hear “I’m glad you have this dog!”

“Of course you do,” I replied. “You just have to read between the lines. For example, when people say things like “Sweet Jesus! Why is he trying to bite my face off?”, they really mean “Awe. He so affectionate. I’m really glad you have this dog.”

Just days later, he got his family a dog. I’m a really good influence when you think about it.

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I redacted my sister-in-law’s face for the same reason I Pac-Man The Brain’s face in pics, but didn’t want to cause confusion so I Mrs. Pac-Manned hers. I’m a little disappointed in the results.  I couldn’t get the eye quite right. I guess that’s irrelevant though. I just wanted you to see the source of Korean seismic woes. Junsa, Destroyer of Worlds is his full name. Junsa is to Korea what Godzilla is to Japan. See for yourself.

The Brain gets a dog. The following day Korea has an earthquake. Deny it all you want, Brain. This one is so totally on you this time.

 

My Wife Just Killed Newtons for me. And Broccoli.

 

I hadn’t planned on posting again so soon. I try to space things out in case I run out of things to talk about. I’m not sure what spacing posts out is going to do for that, but it made sense when I made the decision. I suppose I should get to the point of this post. Doc is at it again with her FB videos and I suspect she does this on purpose just to disturb me in some fashion. Fair enough. I’ve spent the last twenty years disturbing her with whatever falls out of my mouth. I knew I shouldn’t have opened the link but when the first text I see is “You’re eating wasps”, how am I supposed to not look?

Look. I get it. Eating bugs manifests in countless ways in most cultures I’ve encountered despite several differing religion’s prohibition on bug noshing. From Sicilian maggot cheese to entire bug buffets in Asia, it is a common thing. I’ve personally tried many. The sour cream and chive crickets weren’t bad, but Korea’s boiled silk worm larvae (bundaegi) tasted a lot like a dirty urinal smells and my throat closed and it wouldn’t go down and the smell stuck with me for hours until I got home and could reenact a scene from Ace Ventura.

That said, Fig Newton’s are dead to me. It isn’t the bug so much as it is the niggling thought that when I consume things containing figs, I am also consuming the romper rooms of irritable, incestuous, stinging insects. I’ll never be convinced that this is sanitary and all I see now when I see a fig is The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas meets Wrong Turn meets Little Shop of Horrors. Wow. Those titles sound a bit alike when I think about it. Except for the Wrong Turn part. Obviously.

Then I looked into it and I now think broccoli is off the table as well. No more research for me. Ignorance is bliss, no? Don’t go looking. Cabbage might be out too.

You win this round, Doc. Well played.

Misdiagnosis or the Interconnected Nature of Everything. Being Married to a Shrink.

My wife put this video on my FB timeline with the caption “This is exactly like having a conversation with you.”

I responded with “I’m pretty sure this is nothing like me”.

Then that reminded me that I needed to complete my annual GAT (Global Assessment Tool). No. Not random. The GAT is a mandatory survey that asks like a million questions six different ways and you have to answer on a scale consisting of differing degrees of like me-ness. It’s something like this:

Question 401,693: I am easily distracted.

Then I have to answer with “nothing like me”, “somewhat like me”, or “this is so totally like me”. See? Connected rather than randomized. It’s all connected. Kind of like all those Disney movies making reference to one another. Just because I am thinking about Tarzan’s parents doesn’t mean that your convo on Frozen isn’t the same conversation.

Boom. Diagnosis refuted! It’s like magic how I can do that.

Take that, Doc! I’m a wizard!

So Much Awesome

I have thought about this for a week now and I have decided I will not taint the glory that is this image with the fumbling words of an amateur blogger. I will explain though what you are seeing.

I sent my guys to go recover an inoperable trailer belonging to another unit. I asked for pictures of the recovery operation. This is what they sent me:

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The Confluence of Jewish Zombies and Ddeokbokki: Lunchtime Ponderings

The day brought me one of those life lessons not quickly forgotten. Long story short, I learned that when eating delicious, spicy, Korean foods, I need to remember that the napkin used during the meal to clear pepper paste from my lips is unsuitable for the task of stemming the tide of capsaicin induced snot after the meal.

I then joked about using a neti pot of milk to cool my inflamed nasal passages. It was either that or nose plugs made of bread or chocolate, but neither struck me as more interesting than the neti pot thing. Having never used a neti pot, I got curious and went to YouTube. It was nearly as disturbing as Googling cerulean hued breakfast foods. If you have delicate sensibilities, please do not do that. Except for the neti pot thing. It’s totally cool and clean if not disgusting.

I realized quickly that the narrator of the instructional neti pot video might be something of a sadist. He suggested that I use water warmed to the temperature of a bath. Dude! He either takes really cold baths or thinks I should snort near boiling water. It took my skin years of intense training to get used to my predilection for lobster imitation. I can’t imagine what this would do to my schnoz. Add to this that he suggested salt go into said boiling water. Have you ever seen what salt does to your windshield? How is this cleaning my sinuses? Will it raise my blood pressure? Or is he zombie who likes his hors d’oeuvres of a pickled nature or slightly cooked in brine? If the last is true, then he is certainly a Jewish zombie as he recommended Kosher salt. How do you reconcile your diet with your faith, Zionbie? People aren’t Kosher, guy.

I’ll just stick to spicy foods. And two napkins. Maybe a third for my eyes.

Laundry Herpes

I have many nemeses. Nemesises? Nemesi? I’m going with nemesi. I just like the way it sounds and my butchery of the language will drive my daughter insane. Whatever your preferred plural of nemesis is, I have many of them.

You remember my problem with odoriferous bathroom textiles, yeah? If not, please refer to the “To Drink or to Stink” post. Stinky towels haven’t quite made the list, so don’t worry. I’m not talking about them again except to say that a friend offered advice on how to eliminate the offending aroma. She suggested I use dryer sheets. What she doesn’t understand is that I absolutely loathe the danged things. They are, without a doubt, the unruliest participants in laundering operations.

You use one, just a single one, and countless others show up. It’s like plucking a grey hair. My grandmother used to say that if you pulled one grey hair, then seven would come to its funeral. Well, dryer sheets work the same way. Except maybe in that you don’t pluck them unless you consider it plucking when you have to pick up off the floor the dozens spawned by the one. Also, more than seven show up. Try like seventy. And they keep coming. Laundry herpes. That’s what they are.

I used a dryer sheet once and spent weeks picking them up off the floor. They refused to stay in trash cans and if you do manage to catch the one lurking under the edge of the bed and throw it away, then its buddies show up to congregate at the trash can like some great horde of peaceful protestors silently demanding an inmate’s release. I’d find them in my clothing as I dressed after having hung or folded items. They’d be wadded up in the toe of my socks or under my pillow at night. I’m pretty sure I woke up coughing them up once. I am also fairly certain they can lift the lid to trash cans and parachute unharmed to the ground to get lost in a sea of protestors. They are all in cahoots.

I expressed this to my wife who then informed me that I have an irrationally vehement attitude towards these translucent travesties of industry. Not two days later I went to the barracks laundry room and had to send her a message.

“Remember how I told you that if you use one dryer sheet it won’t stay in the trash and all its buddies show up and then you said something unhelpful about an irrational disdain for them?”

“Yes.”

“All you did was mention the danged things. See what horrors you’ve wrought? They breed like rabbits from nothing more than mere mention of them!”

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Then I gave her the grey hair analogy.

“You are the only person I know who can manage to bring up dryer sheets and funerals in the same sentence.”

I suspect that she may be their deity if she can speak them into existence.

Moral of the story? I need to work on my people skills. It’s not cool to ask for laundry tips from a tiny, timid, and bespectacled female Lieutenant in the laundry room by opening with “Do your towels stink too?” Apparently.

To Drink or to Stink

Upon arrival in Korea I had to buy a couple of more towels. The one lonely towel I packed wasn’t faring well under the strain of drying me off twice a day. So I got it some new friends who turned out to be jerks that like to explode dark blue lint all over everything no matter how many times they are washed and dried. Then there is the problem that regardless of how often I wash them or what techniques I employ, they stink in less than four or five uses. Usually, I can get two uses before any hint of mildew creeps in. At best, I get two days out of one. At two showers a day that equals three towels a week and I still fall short of what’s needed for that. Boom! Look at me math.

Look. I’m a laundry once a week kind of guy. I am also a problem solver kind of guy. So I did what many of us might do these days when faced with stinky bathroom textiles: I sought the sage advice that can only be found on the internet. I stumbled upon a page espousing natural “life hacks” for people who don’t like man made cleaning agents. I assume from reading this that vodka isn’t man made and is mistaken by some to be a cleaning agent. This seriously sounds anti-hacky to me, but I guess it makes sense now that I think about it. I’ve never been near someone sloshed on vodka and thought “Wow. He smells really mildewy”. The idea is to spritz your towels after they dry and the fermented potato juice will kill the smell. Or maybe make the smell drunk so it falls off the towel. I don’t know how it works.

The point is not that I know how it works. You remember how I mentioned that liqueur is rationed on post in Korea? Yeah? Well. It is adversely affecting towels. That is the point. If you are reading this, send vodka.