Archive for August, 2008

At all costs

Posted in Culture, News, Politics, USA on August 31, 2008 by Elephant Talk

Add me to the list of people who are excited about John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Maybe “excited” is the wrong word. It’s more like the feeling of walking into a movie, knowing you’re going to get an interesting story and a few dramatic plot twists here and there. I just can’t wait to see how the whole thing plays out.

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Obama’s DNC speech

Posted in Culture, Film & TV, News, Politics, USA on August 29, 2008 by Elephant Talk

Here it is, Obama’s full speech at the Democratic National Convention:

Lost Season 4 / Season 5 limbo

Posted in Film & TV, Lost on August 29, 2008 by Elephant Talk

I got my parents hooked on Lost and now they’re in limbo. They recently finished the Season 3 DVD set with its jaw-dropping finale, and they’re gung-ho for Season 4. But I can’t provide the goods. ABC and DVD are no help either. Here’s the problem:

Season 5 does not begin until January. OK fine, so go ahead and repeat Season 4 during the Fall to get everyone back up to speed. There were only 14 episodes due to the writers’ strike — perfect timing. But no, they’re going to air some dumb new show instead.

Next problem: The Season 4 DVD doesn’t come out until December. How stupid is this? By December they may not care anymore, and if they do it’ll be a panic to try and watch them all before S5 begins. There’s no fun in that.

I feel like a dope pusher, getting them hooked like that only to deny them the goods when the show really starts to take off.

Obama tax cut

Posted in News, Politics, USA on August 28, 2008 by Elephant Talk

Wow, this deserves to be viral…

An Obama tax cut calculator. Enter your income, marriage status and number of dependents and it tells you what you will (or will not) get back with Obama’s tax cut plan.

The site is a blog, so I had to see what this Alchemy Today was just to make sure. The blogger posted a link to the Tax Policy Center homepage so you can verify the numbers yourself. But his site makes it easier.

Flee from me keepers of the gloom

Posted in Korea, Personal, USA on August 27, 2008 by Elephant Talk

The seasons are changing yet again. We’re moving into my favorite time of the year in Busan. In California, my favorite time of the year is spring. But here, autumn is more like springtime. The weather is nice and dry with wonderful colors in the hills. It should stay mostly pleasant until the chill arrives sometime in November.

Rather boring isn’t it, blogging about the weather? I haven’t updated in a while, so I feel like I have to say something. But the things I’ve been thinking and doing are things I can’t write about. Not yet anyway. The seasons aren’t the only thing that’s changing.

I give up

Posted in Culture, Expat life, News, Personal, Politics, USA on August 21, 2008 by Elephant Talk

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I’m stunned…

This election is my own personal test of what the United States is today. More than that, it’s a test of whether I want to be part of it in the future. When I talk to Asians and Europeans about our politics, the conversation goes something like this: “Okay, we don’t quite get how you voted for Bush the first time around. But chock it up to bad judgment. What we really can’t fathom is how you could make the same mistake twice.” Then I fluster around about a fearful nation and stolen elections. And I try to explain the complex cultural organism that is the “American citizen.” I do the best I can.

But… If Americans choose a hawkish conservative yet again, and if they do so because of yet another round of bullying, dickhead, fear-mongering campaign tactics… if Americans yet again choose to go with the cowardly side of their nature, if they fall into the trap of isolationism and us-against-them haughtiness… if they vote based on numbers at the gas pump without investigating why that might be happening… if they don’t have the balls to vote for someone with new ideas, who speaks of openness, who is one of the most intelligent and energetic voices to come to American government leadership in a generation… then the U.S. deserves John McCain. And they deserve what they get for the next four years after that, and beyond. Because the U.S. will cement itself unequivocally as an ignorant, selfish, terrified society that refuses to change and refuses to grow the fuck up.

I’ve tried to defend my country in conversation in the best way I can, but a McCain victory, especially achieved in this manner, would completely drain me of any verbal ammunition I might have once had. I would be out of options. I would have to finally say, you’re right, when all is said and done we failed. It’s over.

A visit to the acupuncturist

Posted in Culture, Expat life, Korea, Personal on August 20, 2008 by Elephant Talk

All things considered, I’m pretty healthy for my age. But occasionally I get nagging signs of what’s likely to come. In particular, my whole left side seems to be slowly seceding from the right. (Or maybe it’s the other way around.) All my physical problems are on my left – a pinched something in my neck, an aching shoulder, a bad knee, an elbow I can violently crack at will, and, on very rare occasions, my little two fingers will go numb.

I mentioned this to my friend Lucie and she suggested I get acupuncture. In fact, she said, she knows where to go and would take me there. So we went yesterday to a place in Haeundae. Strangely enough, on the morning I was to go, I woke up with a stuffed left ear. Whenever this happens to me, I know what’s coming later – ringing in the ear. I had a lot of ear infections when I was young and I subject myself to a lot of loud music, so this happens from time to time.

Right as we got out of the taxi at the clinic, the ringing kicked in. So this was the new, more pressing thing to tell the doctor. Ringing in the ears freaks the shit out of me. It’s as if god is hitting me right where he knows he can punish me. I’m terrified of getting tinnitus, which at best is maddening and at worst can lead to suicide.

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