Rambling on May 18th

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It’s Tuesday morning and raining plenty, but I don’t really mind, because the weather has been nice of late and I’m from the Pacific Northwest, where it does this for nine months out of the year. Nine months – like some kind of shitty weather gestation period – after which the region gives birth to several months of sunshine. Makes life worth living.

COMIN’ TO ‘MURIKA

It’s Tuesday morning and raining plenty, but I don’t really mind, because the weather has been nice of late and I’m from the Pacific Northwest, where it does this for nine months out of the year. Nine months – like some kind of shitty weather gestation period – after which the region gives birth to several months of sunshine. Makes life worth living.

COMIN’ TO ‘MURIKA

Operation “Tharp Temporarily Returns to America” is right on schedule. I’ll be back for at least four weeks, but most likely five. It depends how fussy the airline is about me changing my return date, which is usually doable depending on availabiliy and how much flesh they plan to demand for the favor. I’ll be arriving in Seattle on Thursday, June 17th. I’m actually cheating and leaving Korea a couple days earlier than I’m really supposed to, but I’ll be done with all by that point and would like to arrive before the weekend. I haven’t been home during the summer in about three years now and am well overdue. Last summer I spent a month exploring the steamy undercarriage of China’s Yunan Province and Northern Laos. The one before saw me crossing China by train, all the way to Kashgar, Tashkurgan and Yarkand – the dusty Muslim heart of Donkeyland. This year I’m craving something decidely less exotic: Old friends, family, fishing, Dungeoness crab, fresh air, and a massive selection of beer at the supermarket. “Shall I have some Boddington’s – no, Tecate – screw that – Sierra Nevada sounds good – but look at Rainier! The price is just too good to pass up.”

Like a kid in a candy store, I tell ya.

HAPPENINGS IN “THE SPECIAL K”

Life in Korea has been pure madness. This year seems to have outstripped them all as far as concentration of activity. I’m approaching SIX years on this rocky outcropping and still going strong. Weekends are packed with band gigs, comedy shows, dinner parties, motorcycle rallies, hiking engagements, and these days, weddings. I went to one last Sunday and got another this Saturday – with a rock gig later that night. I’ve gotten a decent amount of writing done this year. Several articles got published, I even maDE a smattering of cash – but my output needs to increase. There is one big project that looms over all. I’ve made great headway but it’s time to pick up steam. A large deadline approaches, slapping a billy club in its fat paw.

YOU AND ME COULD WRITE A BAD ROMANCE

Girl-wise things are good and strange and… L and I broke up with a fight of atomic proportions during a group trip to Jirisan last October, but it took until recently to properly slice away the binds. It’s been tough: you spend three years with someone and feelings are deep; this doesn’t easily evaporate. And the more time you spend apart, the more you only remember the nice things, the happy things, the things that didn’t make you scream at each other; the things that didn’t make her cry or go throught your email; the things that didn’t make you spit poison at each other. Sigh.

For the last couple of months I’ve had J, a beautiful visitor from a far-flung kingdom who I actually met four years ago here in Korea. She came back to see me, and is still here. Again, things have not been perfect with us; I’m a grumpy bastard and not terribly giving of my feelings, especially early in the week for some reason. I’m not used to LIVING with someone in my small environs. Hell, my cats piss me off on a regular basis, just imagine what a really clingy girl can do? But she’s been terrific really, and a hell of a lot of fun, so we’re seeing this out until her departure in June, back to the land of searing sauces, vice, and recent social upheaval. Who knows, I may even go visit HER next time.

THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN! THE CHILDREN!!!

In other news, my recent piece, “10 Things In Korea I’ll Never, Ever Do” caused a bit of a shitstorm on facebook, where it was imported. Some friends of mine took extreme umbrage with the fact that I poke fun at orphans. Evidently orphans are some kind of third rail of comedy. Who knew?

I was sitting at The Crown with Sam after the piece when up, and we kept checking in with the responses. When one of my buddies went ballistic, Sam and I crafted this answer:

“Just realize this XXXX: When I was nine years old, I was raped by a band of roving orphans.”

All that I will say is that my sense of humor is my own. I write pieces like that because they make ME laugh. I’m surely not gettin’ paid for it. When other folks dig it, that’s just gravy. …the idea of someone hating on orphans just tickled me. That anyone could possibly take me seriously truly boggles my mind, but hey, people choose to believe all sorts of silly, silly things.

This is about all, I suppose, if you don’t count that fact that today is the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, a big even in any NW kid’s life. Wow. I just realized that now. I am truly gettin’ old.



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