I am watching the World Baseball Classic tonight. Tonight's game is between Venezuela and Korea, and right now it looks like it will be a victory for the Koreans. As someone who lived in Korea, and is a big fan of the Korean Baseball Organization, I have to say I am really enjoying the game. Well, almost. See, I am very close to turning down the sound, as the announcers sadly are proving some of the reasons a global competition like this should be held.
So far I have heard them discuss how hard it is for American baseball players, and why many of them did not want to give up more of their off-season to participate in the games. They actually bemoaned how hard it is for the players to have to spend six months on the road, often missing family and home. Boo-hoo. First off the minimum salary for a major league player in America is around $380,000 a year. Not bad for a six month gig. And sure you have to spend a lot of time on the road, but it does not take a rocket scientist to be aware of that way before you sign your contract. Every job has things about it that stinks, and if you do not like it, you are not required to take that job.
The announcers have also bemoaned how the numbers of American born baseball players in the United States is declining. They said they could not figure out why, yet in the rest of the world more and more great players are emerging. Here are a few potential reasons off the top of my head. American youth are more focused on their video games and television sets these days. Many parents wont let their precious snowflakes play in unsupervised areas like they used to, thus pick up games of baseball do not happen as often. Could it even be that we have seen many of our heroes fall from grace, and don't want to follow their lead (or don't have connections to steroids like they did)? Or perhaps as today's youth have watched ESPN they have seen the real money is at the poker tables, plus you don't have to work out as much to be a professional player in that sport.
And as for the announcer's complaints that we might be an underdog in our own sport, perhaps we should be glad we have exported at least something other countries can enjoy. I have spent many afternoons sitting in the outfield stand in a ball park in Korea. (Hanwha Eagles Fighting!) I can honestly say the fans there get into the game far more than most who attend games in the States. It is a completely different atmosphere in the stands, one that personally miss.
I am really enjoying see teams made up of non-MLBers compete and even out perform against guys who get paid millions. Seeing the Netherlands do as well as they did was a great thing. And now, the Koreans are about to finish off the Venezuelans. Makes you wonder if the big bucks are worth it?
Besides the announcers, my only other complaint about the World Baseball Classic is the way the brackets work. Korea and Japan have already faced each other four times, and could have a fifth before the series is over. They should mix the teams up a little more. How about splitting up the two teams that advance from the first round to different pools? It would give even more chances for teams to face each other, and limit the number of times two teams would face off.
Oh, and now that this is going to be a routine event, can we change the name of this to the World Series, and the other championship to the MLB Championship? Makes sense to me.
Many of you know that I am currently in between jobs. Or at least I really hope I am, as I do not have enough saved up to call this retirement. So, I am casually looking around at various job opportunities to see what I might like to do next.
The other day, while I was watching my judge shows, I noticed two jobs that are on opposite ends of the job desirability scale. On the side of jobs that I would love to have for at least a little bit is bailiff on one of the judge shows. I would prefer to serve with the honorable Judge Mathis, Judy or Milian, but I am not too picky.
On the far other end of the scale, the job I would not want for a minute is a personal incontinence consultant. I wish I was kidding about that title. Unfortunately, a commercial for ActivStyle interrupted the court proceedings. In it they mentioned that personal incontinence consultants are standing by for your call. I began to imagine what it would be like to explain your career to friends at a party. Heck, I bet they are the life of the party with all their incontinence talk. Do you think they have that listed on their business cards?
According to the ActivStyle website, they have "a highly trained staff of incontinence specialists," so I doubt I even have the training needed to make the cut. Oh well, you never know when it will happen. I'm talking about getting that next job of course.
My Little Secret is the theme at PhotoFriday this week. I am not sure if my secret is that I still owned this shirt until about a week ago, or that I still occasionally watch wrestling. The best/worst part about it is that here in Korea there is a channel that shows WWE at least once a day. I think I've watched the Ric Flair farewell address about five times this week. I think I have said too much, and should stop there.
It has only been three days since my post on Korean television, and I have already seen Charlie And the Chocolate Factory and Spiderman 2 being aired again. Surprisingly, I do not watch a whole lot of television. At least here in Korea, like in Europe as well, commercials do not always break up shows, but are mostly shown before and after the program. Sure you have to put up with about ten to fifteen minutes between shows, but at least it is not breaking up the story line of your favorite show. And once in a while you actually get good commercials. This is one being shown in repetition for Samsung's Anycall cell phone. It actually works as a stand alone music video, complete with a 1984 storyline. Enjoy.
You can also watch it with English subtitles, but I would recommend doing that after watching the original.
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.
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?