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I'm Sailing Away

Today is Scurvy Awareness Day. What better day to announce that in a six weeks I will be taking to the open seas. I have chosen to schedule a voyage on a freighter to return to America. Many have question the logic in this decision. While a fraction of the choice was made in an attempt to never fly Northwest Airlines again, mostly it is because it is there. I have flown across the ocean dozens of times, but for once would love to see it first hand. I look forward to standing on the deck with nothing but blue for as far as the eye can see.

As I prepare for the voyage you can help. I am looking for suggestions for entertainment to occupy my time. Specifically, I'm looking for some good ocean/boat/voyage media. So far I have packed Moby Dick and Cabin Boy. I have also loaded Come Sail Away and Every Ship Must Sail Away on the iPod.

So any suggestions? (Beatings for the first to mention Titanic!)

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Posted by Ryan at 02:31
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You Can Put The Past Away

One of my pet peeves is when people post their "best of the year" lists before the year ends. It is like they have given hope for anything appearing in the last few weeks that might amaze them. Had I made my list before the year was out, I would have failed to included what was possibly the best concert I saw this year. So, now that the books have been cooked on 2007, I can give you my favorites of the year in the following categories:

Books: (read for the first time this year)
1. Travels With Charley - John Steinbeck
2. Under The Big Top - Bruce Feiler
3. Walk On - Steve Stockman
4. The Culturally Savvy Christian - Dick Staub
5. OverClocked - Cory Doctorow (yeah, I am shocked too Dave - just proves I need to read more)

Movies: (Seen on the big screen)
1. Once
2. Into The Wild
3. Stardust
4. Bourne Ultimatum
5. Live Free Or Die Hard

Although I didn't see it in the theater, I must give an honorable mention to Hot Fuzz.

1. The Frames with Sunflower Caravan - Dublin, Ireland (video)
2. Calexico - Fukuoka, Japan
3. Eric Clapton - Seoul, Korea
4. Scorpions - Seoul, Korea
5. Boney M. - Taejon, Korea (video)

Worst Concert - Beach Boys - Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Music: This is a tough one, as I obtained a good amount thanks to emusic.com.
1. Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - "Once (Music from the Motion Picture)"
2. Over The Rhine - "The Trumpet Child"
3. Romantica - "America"
4. Athlete - "Beyond the Neighbourhood"
5. Dolores O'Riordan - "Are You Listening?"

Honorable mention - Michael Hearst - "Songs for Ice Cream Trucks," Jackson Waters - "Come Undone," Ken Oak Band - "Vienna to Venice," 林凡 (Freya) - "Love Songs," and The Perishers - "Victorious."

And now we begin working on next year's list. Seeing that the Frames concert was a New Year's Eve show, I got a feeling it might make next year's list as well. Especially with the only concert prospects at this point being Bjork, Celine Dion, Helloween and James Blunt. Although, if they were to appear at the same time, I might be interested. Just imagine that collaboration.

Currently reading:

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Posted by Ryan at 11:06
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Now That It's Out

Last week I was excited when I discovered that Once was coming out on DVD here in Korea the same day it was being released in America. This has to be one of the best films I have seen in a while, and I was planning on having the folks ship it to me. But if I could get it sooner, even better. So I had one of my students check the Korean websites just to make sure I was right. He told me he could just download it for me. After a little explanation about how I do not agree with that, plus want to physical dvd, he found that I was correct.

So this morning I was set to wake up and head to one of the local DVD stores to see if they had it. Well, morning disappeared before I got out of bed. But once I got up, I headed out fully intended to head to the store. I was then distracted by some friends watching the Monday night game. After it was apparent that Chicago was going to lose, I headed to the store. I walked in looked around, and figured it would be best to go straight to the counter. Showing a paper I printed off the Korean website about the DVD, I proceeded to see if the movie was in stock. She smiled and grabbed a copy of it from right in front of me. She then walked it up to the checkout counter. I got the feeling she had not even entered it into the system yet, as she was still putting pricing stickers on them when I showed up.

I headed home, hoping to put it into the DVD player. Alas, upon my return, I discovered a package from home with the Commitments. Seeing that I have been waiting a while for that one, I popped it into the player. Once can wait one more day.

Either way, these Irish films are getting me excited about the upcoming trip. Eight days from now I will be back in Dublin.

Currently watching:

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Posted by Ryan at 11:09
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My Baby Loves The Western Movies

I just finished watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on television. If I want, I can probably watch it another five times in the next couple weeks. That is the interesting thing about Korean television. I am constantly amazed at the movie selection, let alone repetition over here. Last week I was walking back to the dorm with a coworker, and we were joking about what movies we would be able to watch in the afternoon. He had mentioned that Spiderman was already on that morning, so I guessed that Spiderman 2 might be on. I ended by saying that at least we should have a strong chance of some Lord of the Rings. About five minutes later, he called me to let me know that I was correct. As I flipped to see the Hobbits on their quest, I was shocked to pass over Peter Parker saving Mary Jane from a car flipping through the coffee shop.

Each month it appears that they add one or two movies to the rotation, but for the most part I can almost bet on seeing Hellboy, The Rock, Sahara, one of the Blade or Final Destination series, or Love Actually at least once a month on television. This month they've tossed the Transporter into the mix, and I've already seen parts of it at least five times. Don't get me wrong, I find comfort knowing I can turn my television on and be able to see a Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van Damme, or Jackie Chan film.

And it isn't just movies that are on constant repeat over here. If you enjoy Sex In The City, CSI (any of them), Law and Order (all except the original) America's Next Top Model or The Nanny you should pack your bags and head this way. Any of these can be seen at least once a day. Toss in a little Airwolf and Kung Fu and life is almost complete.

And people wonder why I would even consider leaving this place.

Currently watching:

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Posted by Ryan at 03:54
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Boredom Lines The Shelves

Wayne Campbell once said, "I thought I had mono for a whole year, but it turned out I was just really bored." The last couple days have had that feeling for me. I'm not complaining, but just coming to the conclusion that life without students around can be very boring. I have barely left the apartment in the last 50 or so hours.

I did get out yesterday to go to the bank. I do enjoy living in a country where I can walk into the bank and ask the teller to take a couple million out of my account.

I have also cooked a couple good meals for myself. While I appreciate having ladies who make most of my meals, I miss cooking on a regular basis. So if anyone reading this is getting a visit from me this summer, I'm willing to cook a meal in your kitchen.

Last night "Cool As Ice" found its way into the DVD player. It is probably a safe bet none of my readers have seen that film and/or will admit it. After watching it, I can honestly say it actually is better than I remembered. Sure it is a bit cheesy, but what do you expect? Go out and find a copy for the weekend.

I leave you with the wise words of John Van Owen, "It is not where you are from, it is where you are at."

Currently listening to: Jonathan Rundman -

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Posted by Ryan at 12:45
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Walking Round The Room Singing

This is a great weather week. Yesterday I was awoken by an amazing thunderstorm. Last night I walked under a perfectly clear sky complete with a full moon. Tonight as I head to my bed it is snowing outside my window. Too bad it isn't sticking, as I would be tempted to have a snowman standing by the back gate to welcome all to school. Alas, there will only be two or three of us who actually were aware snow was falling tonight.

Tonight I went to see The Prestige. I'm telling you this has to be one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I highly recommend, and that is all I am going to say about this film. Wow, I just got a feeling of deja vu.

In other news, I work with some crazy people. I have the text messages to prove it.

Currently listening to: The Perishers -

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Posted by Ryan at 10:18
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Pre-wrapped Sausages and Things

I have discovered there is an exciting feeling about walking up to a bank teller and sliding a piece of paper requesting a few million to be withdrawn from your account. Even better is when she does it without flinching. She asked me if I wanted it in cash or check. As I would be walking across town to another bank, I decided check, although I was really tempted with the feeling of walking out of the bank with a stash of bills. A few hours later, I got to enjoy dropping a few million on the desk when the teller asked me how much I wanted to transfer. Yeah kids, I'm a high roller. Before you start sending me requests for charity, remember I live in a country where a bag of chips costs a thousand.

Last night, I had dinner with some friends to celebrate the upcoming birthday of this guy. Two of us then went to see The Prestige. I'm telling you this has to be one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I highly recommend, and that is all I am going to say about this film.

Speaking of entertainment. I discovered a good sign you have been living overseas too long is when you get excited that Who's The Boss is on television. And speaking of Who's the Boss, do you what my favorite kind of cookies are?

Alyssa Milano Cookies

Currently listening to:

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Posted by Ryan at 19:07
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