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Anne finally found another job. She wasn’t sure what date should be her last day. She and Roberta talked it over and then Roberta talked to me. She said that they had three options, one at the end of the July and two in August.”Oh, definitely the July date.”

So she’s leaving at the end of July, and I have two weeks to find her replacement. Of course, Anne’s big concern was making sure she got paid until August 2nd, along with getting money for moving and even insisting we buy her furniture from her. It seems every issue with her comes down to how much money and breaks she can get.

Injoo’s first week has been pretty good. Friday night, we had Mexican for dinner and walked around the park. We then tried this German themed bar, where they serve individual beers in carafes and place them in refrigerated recesses on the tables. Cool concept, but the beer was awfully tasteless.

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Saturday night was one of Magic Castle’s big parties. I got to Ansan and had dinner at my beloved Peach Melba.

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I thought I was late for the party, but I was one of the first people there. The floor had been cleared, and lights and lasers were dancing all over the place. Injoo showed up after fifteen minutes, saying he had been trying to call me. I noticed that my phone had been turned off.

People started trickling in. Some familiar faces started showing, such as Rick, the former bartender. Still, it wasn’t that big of a crowd. There was a new female bartender who had to be one of the most gorgeous women in Korea.

The Cocktail Show started, and they had Rick and another former bartender, the one who competed in Las Vegas, join in the fun. There was more fire and stuff thrown.

After the Cocktail Show, a hip hop dance troupe performed on the floor. When it was over, Eun Jeong showed up. I saw her train come in, looking out from the 6th floor of the building. I met her outside.

I paid her admission fee and helped her choose which free beer she would order. She, Injoo, and I sat down at the bar, and I showed her some video of what she had missed.

But the entertainment was far from over.

Ricky, the manager, had the microphone and was trying to get some men to come up for a contest. No one volunteered. He held up some boxes in gift wrapping, saying there were prizes.

Still no one.

Then he held up a bottle of Absolut.

I ran up there.

“I don’t know what it is you want me to do, but I’m here.”

Four more men joined, including two from the dance troupe. Five women joined us. Being the first one up there, they wanted me to do whatever it was they wanted me to do first. In the midst of the Korean sentences, I heard the English phrase “sexy dancing.”

“¦ oh no”¦

The music started, and the lights came up. I got out on the floor and did the goofy dancing I do for Eun Jeong to make her laugh. I slammed myself down on the floor on my knees and unbuttoned one button on my sports shirt. I took my baseball cap off and started hitting the floor with it. I then stood up, bent over, lifted the back tail of my shirt, and shook my butt to everyone.

There were cheers.

The rest of the guys and girls danced. And by some fluke, I was voted the winner.

The next thing they wanted was for the first place man to dance sexily with the first place women and so forth down the line in another contest. Eun Jeong videotaped it.

I was with this beautiful woman, a professional dancer. In fact, she was the friend of the professional dancer whom I danced with at the last Magic Castle party back in October (2004.11.03 — Korean Salsa). They had us chug some beers with green liqueur in them (leftovers from the Cocktail Show) before dancing. When we finished, we went back to the crowd of contestants and gave each other a high five. I pointed to Eun Jeong with the video camera, saying, “Yojachingu (Girlfriend).”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

We ended up winning the whole thing, including the bottle of Absolut. For an encore, they had us come back out and dance again. This time she worked out the choreography with me and pulled my hands around her waist as we danced.

To my surprise, Eun Jeong wasn’t angry. She was actually impressed and proud of me. “You’re so brave,” she exclaimed.

Injoo, Eun Jeong, and I joined my new dance partner, Eun Gyeong, and the owner of Magic Castle for vodka and cranberry mixers. Later, when Eun Jeong and I reviewed the video, Eun Jeong complained that I didn’t dance close enough to Eun Gyeong.

“Of course I didn’t. My girlfriend was holding the camera.”

My debut performance ripped a hole in my jeans and busted my kneecaps. Nonetheless, Eun Jeong and I had a great time dancing for the rest of the night. The hip hop group hung out with us too and kept wanting to do complex high fives and handshakes as we left the bar.

We found a taxi and rode home at two in the morning.

The next day, Brant had arranged for one of our traditional gatherings at Sh-wing. I arrived late because I was still tired. Injoo had somehow made it, along with Jeremy, Liz, and a fresh-from-Canada Derek. The big feature of the evening was Brant’s date, Tara. He had met her on Korean Cupid with the membership I got him for his birthday. She was very pretty and charming, and they seemed to get along. I hadn’t seen this side of Brant before. He’s been happy in the past, but I haven’t seen him glow.

I had my usual introductory Krazy Korean wing and then dug into the less spicy ones. Since Brant was paying, I took advantage of his offer to buy me one of Sh-wing’s cheeseburgers, and it was pretty good. It’s hard to get a non-McDonald’s cheeseburger in Korea.

We stayed later than everyone else, Brant, Tara, and I. We walked together back to the subway stop. I got distracted and made a detour to get a cone of chocolate, banana, and tiramisu gelato from a great gelato place where all the flavors were in Italian and Korean, no English.

I did do a lot of drinking on the weekend, so I’m going to try to lay off it for a while. I didn’t get any hangovers, but I do feel my toxicity levels rising.

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