gord’s life

No Swimming In Seoul, But At Least The Coffee Is Good

I just discovered something somewhat retarded about the Seoul YMCA in Jongo, Seoul, which is that you can’t swim there without a monthly pass. I explained to the man (in what was, judging from his response, mostly comprehensible Korean) that I was in Seoul only for the weekend, and just wanted to practice, and was willing to pay the W5000 ($6 Canadian) to get access to the pool for one shot, but he said I couldn’t, that there was no way to go to the pool without a YMCA membership card (and my Iksan card is no good in Seoul either).

Continue reading

Ankles (Not a Frog)

Okay, so, we’ve graduated to learning the scissor kick, and frog kick (which is which and so forth are less than clear to me at this point). Our teacher is bent on having us understand the leg motion necessary. So imagine this: we’re all kneeling on floaterboards by the edge of the kiddie pool, knees slightly apart, and feet turned to the side. This really really hurts, especially for me… I have such inflexible ankles that I’ve actually had to do tendon-stretching exercises in the past to render walking less painful.
And then teacher comes up and reminds us that we must really have our feet to the side, and must really stretch, by pulling our feet out when necessary, and pushing down on our shoulders. Which is all well and good if you’re flexible enough for it, which seems to be everyone in the class but me.
Ah well. So anyway, now, my feet and my hips… well, I’ll just put it this way: right now, even walking hurts a little bit.

Just Got Home

I just got back from a weekend in Seoul. We played at a club called Bbang (Bread) and our lead singer Myoung Jae’s mother came up from Sydney, Australia to see us! The highlight of the evening was seeing her and two of her sisters (I think they were her sisters or relatives?) singing along and waving their arms in the air to our one traditional tune, the Bet Norae (Boat Song). It was fun to see a crowd having fun with us. My friends Dong Han and Sun Hwa came out to see us, which was really nice.

Continue reading

Back on Track

That’s how I feel right now. I have started swimming again, which is a blessing to my mind. I’ve been wearing some new clothes, which fit my new size. The weight seems to be peeling off again, now. My teaching is back on the “improving” slope, which makes for occasionally uncomfortable mistakes but usually is pretty good. I’m emailing people. I don’yt have a big fat project around my neck anymore, as most of the updating is finished on my website, except for integrating ESL materials. I met with John Wendel and talked shop about writerly craft, looking at his new and very wonderful story. The band did a few ood shows this weekend, too. I felt doldrums coming on which is one reason I’ve enthusiastically embraced not only swimming but also lifting weights and the regimen of situps and pushups I used to do in the morning.

Continue reading

Grumblings (continued…)


I just got in to Jeonju from Seoul. I had a completely useless visit that I managed to salvage in a couple of ways…

Continue reading