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Diary

The Travel Host

It's coming full circle. Is that the right use of that phrase? Watching Anthony Bourdain's "A Cook's Tour" inspired me to go ahead and move to Asia. I always said he had the dream job as a travel host. Now I'm one. Yeah, it's not The Travel Channel. It's Arirang. But...

Feelin’ a need for propane and propane accessories

It's strange. I've had an unusual bout of homesickness lately. It started with a trip to Memphis King Barbecue with my friend Mike from Alabama (Jasper). I then went on websites looking at restaurant menus in and around Fairhope. Now I'm watching King of the Hill....

A Little Privatized

I've decided to password protect some of my more personal posts. If you want a password you can ask me on Facebook. But I have to know you first.

The Last Post?

I just got an unexpected gig at EBS Radio as one of the hosts of their flagship show "Morning Special." During discussions of how the show and web site is set up, they said they'd link to ZenKimchi. It occurred to me that I'm getting more and more public with the...

Korean Post-partum Traditions

I think I've been a bit of an arrogant asshole. My initial feelings of being the only person who knew how to take care of a baby conditioned me to believe that everything Koreans were saying were silly superstitions. I have since changed the word superstition to...

Thankful Day

I can hear all my parenting comrades gloating. Yes, we're dealing with the all-nighters with Jian now. She was up from 2 to 8 in the morning. Poor EJ has been stressed. The helper ajumma was anything but. It feels like I'm the only person in this country who knows...

The Latest Member of ZenKimchi

Our little Jian was born Sunday morning. I had just won 2nd place in the cooking competition and called my wife. She asked me to rush home. She needed to go to the hospital. As luck would have it, Saturday night was heavy in traffic, and I had the only taxi driver in...

Mommy and Baby are Home

Now for the rest of our lives to start. The rest of the hospital stay went smoothly. I slept on the couch in the dry hot room with no blanket, but I slept deeply both nights. I continued to help EJ get around and do things she normally can do on her own. She's healing...

The Greatest Two Weeks?

Totally on a cloud these days, even with this creeping headache and no ibuprofen in the house. I think it started with the Nanoomi party. Had a great time meeting and hanging with all the K-bloggers. Then there was Running Man and meeting celebs on a major TV show....

Bleak ’70s TV Openings

There was a reason I turned to cartoons over "real life" shows in the '70s and early '80s. It wasn't just because I was a kid. Looking back and rewatching these shows over the years, it's struck me how bleak they were in the opening credits. Most all of them portray...

The Long Wait(s)

EJ went to the doctor today. She's getting close. Not dilating yet, but the walls are softening. They're predicting Jian will be born slightly before her due date next week. I'm excited but also biting my nails. Trying to keep my schedule clear for the next week, but...

The Stuff They Give You at the Photo Studio

EJ has been wanting to get a studio photo session of her pregnancy. It's traditional in Korea. She said that the studios offer this for free. Nothing's for free. The plan was to try one out and then another if this one wasn't good enough. The studio took up a...

She’s Almost Here

It feels realer all the time. We've been spending the past two days washing all the new baby clothes, blankets and handkerchiefs. It's hitting us now that our laundry load will greatly increase. But also, actually seeing the little shirts, pants and one-pieces make...

Thursday: The FCI

Last week, I had met Dorothy Cann Hamilton (founder, French Culinary Institute) in Seoul, and she said she wanted to have lunch while I was in New York. Turned out her schedule kept her out of the country this week. But she suggested I still go by and check out the...

Wednesday: Ultimate Food Nerd Day

Surprised that I got over my hangover quickly. But I was still frazzled from Monday. Wendy IM'ed me and asked if I wanted to join her at the Union Square Market. At the same time, Jonathan was saying he could get me a press pass for Star Chefs that afternoon. My...

Tuesday: Eating Our Way Through Queens

I had scheduled the entire Tuesday to tour Queens with Joe DiStefano. We met at a gourmet diner, M. Wells, where I had my first Cuban sandwich in 10 years and Joe had a quite good pickled pork tongue. We then went to the famous Golden Shopping Mall, where we met...

Monday: Night of 1,000 Lotus Lanterns

t's done! I woke up around 4 a.m., and I rehearsed and tweaked my presentation until 8. I wanted to go out and get some breakfast, so I packed the camera and wandered around. I've realized that I really got lucky in finding this apartment stay. The location is a...

Sunday: Wendy’s Rooftop

Quickly got over that jetlag. I was invited to Wendy Chan's place for breakfast. It took me a while to get there. I had to figure out the New York subway, which makes me realize how user friendly, clean, modern and high tech the Seoul subway is. The subway has been my...

New York: Getting Kinda Used to This

This is the fourth time I've made this overseas flight, and it seemed to go much faster this time. It does help that they have more entertainment options. I still can't sleep on these flights, but I think I did shut my eyes for an hour or two. Oh, and do you need...

About to Head to New York

After five months, the last two weeks went quickly. I get on a plane for New York tomorrow. On Monday, I'll give a speech as part of a Buddhist temple cuisine festival for chefs and dignitaries. I've learned that I overprepare for things like this. It comes from...

Done.

The greatest change since I started this blog six-and-a-half years ago happened tonight. I am no longer teaching English at a hagwon. Early February 2004, I flew here to find relief from one of the tech crashes. It was supposed to be temporary relief--a distraction...

Free Menu Translations–almost

I'm in my week vacation, which means I'm working my butt off on my other projects. This vacation, I'm mostly working on figuring out what I'm going to do after I quit the hagwon industry in September. I've already had a couple of meetings. I'm going to another meeting...

Spy Zone 203: They are Aliens (personal pronouns)

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdzadb_spy-zone-03-they-are-aliens-persona_shortfilms[/dailymotion] After the first two came out, I got a better idea of how the show was set up, so I started playing with voices a lot more. Spy Cam become more childlike,...

Spy Zone 202: Find the Ring (a, an, the)

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdywt3_spy-zone-02-find-the-ring[/dailymotion] This is the second episode of season two. This is also when the company decided that they had overspent on a music and choreography budget, so this is the last one with a...

Spy Zone 201: What is Dangerous? (is, are)

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xdyhpb_spy-zone-201-what-is-dangerousy_shortfilms[/dailymotion] It's been three years, and I've realized I haven't posted any videos of the TV shows I did for EBSe. From March to December 2007, I was in three children's TV...

Is Alkongi a Boy or a Girl?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM9VuNQHjPI 16 weeks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raK9gN-WWP4 20 weeks Korean law forbids hospitals to tell the parents the sex of their babies until after 26 weeks. As many of you know, we are fine either way, but it's become a bit of...

Cool Ajosshi Day

You'd never think I'd say good things about ajosshi, but I had two good experiences yesterday. EJ and I went to the bank to finalize our loan to keep our place for two more years. There was a major snag when we got there. When we signed a new lease two years ago, my...

Robseyo's Wedding

We're on week 20. EJ is starting to feel the baby move in little flutters, but not too actively. It's amazing seeing the changes she's going through. We've also been anticipating the cravings, and I think they've arrived. Only, she's not wanting pickles and lime...

It’s a Boy… Maybe…?

We're at the point where doctors can determine the baby's sex. But Korea has passed this law that says we can't know the sex of the baby this early. On this week's check up, a nurse didn't do the ultrasound. The doctor did. And he was doing his best to be sly and...

This bus crap has to STOP

Effin' bus jumped the curb, and EJ bumped her head on the window. She says she's fine, but I made her go to the clinic to get checked out. That's the third incident I've experienced on this bus line this week alone. Yesterday, my bus almost hit a car at a stop light....

End of a Major Era

I'm very sad today. This really is the end of a major point in my time in Korea. Chris Patch was, in a way, my savior. He saved me from the grayness of Seoul and brought me to the Land of Green that is Anyang. After ten years here, he is returning to Vancouver. It's...

The Grilled Fish Queen

Eun Jeong hasn’t been sick since this weekend. She’s actually been in sunny spirits despite the chilly front that passed this week. We’ve been spending a lot of bonding time together, and I’ve been trying to do as many housechores as I can. I think I complained about...

Almost a Fetus

We're in week #10. Alkongi is about to exit the embryo stage and hit the fetus stage. If you aren't familiar with all this pregnancy talk, she's about to exit the stage where all her organs and major limbs and stuff are taking seed and developing and entering the...

Iron Restoration

I don't mean to take any credit, but the Joe diet worked. EJ is back to her old self. She told me first thing this morning that she was feeling better. Her energy's back up, as is her attitude and sense of humor. Today she ate more iron-rich foods and protein. We...

Adventures in Anemia

Eun Jeong has always had these bouts of weakness, especially in the past couple of years. We had researched it before, and I had come to the conclusion that she had iron poor blood. Her temperature has been fluctuating, mostly on the cold side, since she got pregnant....

This Rocky Trimester

Eun Jeong has been up and down, mostly down. She doesn't get morning sickness, but I think she'd prefer to have it over the constant bouts of colds and fevers. She hasn't had a full night's sleep. She wakes up every three hours. She's constantly clammy. Today was my...

Introducing Alkongi

I think it's safe to announce. Eun Jeong is pregnant. We're on our seventh week now. It's due in December. The baby looks like a lizard with flippers. It's the cutest pet I've ever had! We started out by calling it "Little Rice." A couple of nights ago, EJ said,...

Wedding Daze: All in One

Here is a collection of all the blog posts and pictures from our pre- and post-wedding activities. Wedding Daze #1: Family Arrives Photos Wedding Daze #2: The Open Market Photos Wedding Daze #3: Hanbok Shopping Photos Wedding Daze #4: First Trip to Seoul Photos The...

Wedding Daze #10: Departure

I think no one slept that night.  It always does so when you have to wake up early.  Around five o'clock, EJ asked, "Are you awake?" "Yes." "You going back to sleep?" "Doesn't look like it." The family was leaving in two batches.  We went to the airport...

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