80 Thoughts

Random posts along the way, sometimes serious, often not.

The Strange Places I’ve Called Home: Introduction, 1982

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My birth year is naturally misleading, seeing as I only experienced roughly 10 days of 1982, though “experienced” might be a generous word to use, insofar as a newborn baby doesn’t experience much of anything beyond the feeding/pooping/crying/sleeping cycle. While…

An Open Letter to the Woman I Accidentally Molested

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Most mornings, there are many thoughts bouncing happily along my neurons as I prepare for the busy day ahead. Usually one of those thoughts isn’t, “Oh shit, did I just accidentally molest that woman?” The incident in question happened last…

A Letter to a Mullet-Wearing German and His Dog

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To the strange, certainly unemployed, possibly homeless, gruff-looking German gentleman with the mullet and handlebar mustache who is always seen walking an impossibly small Yorkshire Terrier: We have not been formally introduced, so please allow me to introduce myself on…

The North Korean Humanitarian Dilemma

Political Prison Camp 14, North Korea

Once again, we wait with bated breath and watch while North Korea rattles its saber, and once again, we hope that it is merely talk and not a prelude to something more. Of course, the American media has made hay…

Dog is My Co-Pilot

Me and Sydney in my small, Seoul apartment.

Sydney, my Australian Shepherd pup, and I agree on a great number of things: enjoying a nice long walk, curling up on the couch to watch a movie, and the shared mutual benefit of having one of us enjoy eating…

The Big Blog Exchange

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My longtime readers may have noticed a change to the look of my blog this weekend, in the form of a rather flashy, somewhat annoying, repetitive banner, encouraging you to vote for this site on the Big Blog Exchange. If…

South America is for the Dogs

A Bernese Mountain Dog, chillin' in Puerto Madryn.

Anyone who spends more than, say, 30 seconds around me will hear more than they ever cared to know about my best friend and traveling companion, Sydney, a 4-year-old Australian Shepherd pup. The person in question will then be subjected…

My Home in the Airport

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On my most recent flight from Charlotte to Miami, I struck up a conversation with the two ladies seated in my row. Within moments of sitting down, they enthusiastically agreed that they hated flying, and then turned to me to…

2012: A Retrospective

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A Primer: A year ago, I did not think I would be back Stateside so soon. I had a plan, things were going well at my new job, and I still had money to save toward my goal of returning…

Reverse Culture Shock: You Can Never Go Back

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In the 1997 comedy Grosse Pointe Blank, assassin Martin Blank (played by my boy, John Cusack) goes home after 10 years to reconnect with his long-lost love, and “delete somebody along the way.” Before returning, he asks his therapist, Dr. Oatman…

North Korea: Peering into the Darkness

The view from behind our apartments. Everything past the river is North Korea. Photo by Kate Zeis.

For the last year, I’ve lived very comfortably on the absolute edge of Western Civilization, approximately 1.5 miles to the North Korean border. When I say, “I can see North Korea from my backyard,” this isn’t a metaphorical statement. During…

The Last…

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A little less than a year ago, I found myself watching the Brewers ill-fated playoff run online, while chatting with my cousin Danny and my uncle Robert. Well, the Brewers were getting spanked and during the lull in action (which…