Two days, two ways to enjoy Thomas Family Winery (Madison, IN)

On May 15, our cross-country trip took us to Madison, Indiana, the place Jen called home until she was nine.

For a “coaster” like me, it’s country out here. Not necessarily as country as I remember Alfred, New York (which, last I remember, still celebrates the anniversary of the first and only traffic light in the village), home to my alma mater, the accents and some of the attitudes are definitely of a different timbre than what I accustomed myself to in New Jersey. Then again, I haven’t lived in New Jersey since 2013, so everything is requiring a bit of adjustment.

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People are (still) people

“People are people so why should it be
you and I should get along so awfully?”
– Depeche Mode

To borrow a line from folks older than me, the world today is lacking in civility. This is especially evident when various sacred cows enter the conversation. Even now, I am thinking about how to carefully present myself as to not offend “all sides” enough to either stop reading or proceed to flame comment me to Mars. But, as a cynical left-leaning centrist from New Jersey, I must admit to a few of my own pre-conceived notions about how things are.

Dispelling a few of these notions, or at least learning to better separate someone’s politics from the person is another benefit of this road trip around the United States.

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John and Jen: An American Journey

Fifteen years. It’s a long time. Fifteen years ago, I was fired from a telephone survey job I had held onto out of laziness and fear of jumping into my eventual journalism career, despite having graduated the year before with an English degree, with experience under my belt and knowing that sitting in a drab, windowless, soulless call center in four-and-eight-hour shifts was no way to spend my early 20s. The following month I would work at a neighborhood park, sweating buckets as I pulled weeds and laid mulch until I finally stopped listening to the voice in my head saying no one would possibly hire me to be a reporter and applied, and became, a reporter. What a difference 15 years makes.

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‘Dedicated to the Craft’ (Busan Beat)

Originally appeared in Busan Beat magazine, September 2018

Seeking to slake a thirst only a quenching cold one can conquer? There are more options in South Korea than ever before.

Since the turn of the decade, an explosion of international beer choices began to occupy supermarket and convenience store shelves. Even more recently, however, thanks to the relaxation of strict laws that once required companies to produce one million liters of beer annually before going to market, more and more humble Korea-based craft brewers are producing and selling sensational suds. While the trend first flourished in Seoul, craft beer has since also taken hold throughout Busan.

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‘Don’t forget your chopsticks’ (Global Living Magazine)

Thanks to Alison Cavatore at Global Living Magazine for publishing this piece on her worldwide expat resource site. In the article, I share my (two!) experiences of having surgery in South Korean hospitals. Enjoy!

Don’t forget your chopsticks

An American expat goes under the knife in South Korea, after backing out eight years ago

By John Dunphy

The distance between one’s gallbladder and their right knee is not very far from a big picture perspective. But, the circumstances that brought me to a South Korean surgeon’s table in 2018 are perhaps wider than the years between it and my first attempt at going under the knife eight years ago in The Land of Morning Calm.

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Better beers are here in Busan (Dynamic Busan)

It’s a pretty great time to be in South Korea if you are a craft beer drinker.

The craft beer industry is blowing up all around the world. While it’s still pretty young in South Korea (especially here in Busan), that newness and freshness are really exciting. Especially for those of us who have been here for at least a few years and remember the times when there weren’t more than a few options beyond the bland, light American-style lagers that have dominated much of the beer-drinking world here.

It’s also great to have the input of Jiyoung Moon, my Korean editor and co-writer for this piece. With Dynamic Busan, what’s starts is her Korean story, which is then translated by our capable translator Sangmin Kim. Then, it comes to me. Besides cleaning up the text to better read like native English-written text, I consult with Jiyoung on what else should be added and what can be taken away. It has been a pretty (sorry) dynamic team effort.

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‘I’m Still Here:’ Transitioning this site

Below is my former bio page for this site, which I started in late 2012 in anticipation of my pending arrival back to South Korea a few months later. Instead of just getting rid of this for my resume, I decided to archive it as a post. It will hopefully be a nice nostalgia bomb for me at some point looking back.

I’m Still Here

(Updated 03/20/2017)

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Potential plagiarism and fourteen hours of Final Fantasy (NintendoEnthusiast)

Today was a pretty busy day writing for the Nintendo Enthusiast site. It began pretty quietly with a simple post mentioning some new artwork released for Sonic Mania. But, then there came the news that a reviewer at games juggernaut IGN might have been caught plagiarising a YouTuber’s video review and, hoo boy, it got busy. I was actually reminded of some of the particularly hectic days of yore when, while working for, some kind of major story was happening and needing to be constantly updated. Unfortunately, one of the biggest stories of the day was when it was rumored Snookie was coming to town. Nonetheless, it felt good to get back into a breaking news kind of story mode after so long.

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