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25 April 2005
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KLB - Happy Birthday To Me

With Julie's birthday last week and then the weekend, it feels like we've been celebrating for ages. But today it was official. I'm 29 again, yay! Julie took me to Outback Steakhouse tonight. She also got me a pretty ice cream cake from Baskin Robins, but we're too full to eat it.

All in all it was certainly a lot better birthday than last year when I sat home all day on a Sunday (after a brief trip to Taiwan) in Nowhere-dong Korea feeding stray cats. My good (and apparently only) friend John came up from Gangnam on the bus and spent the weekend with us again. We were all going to go out but we were unable to step away from the Xbox and ended up just staying here and drinking German beers and playing new games all night.

James, this guy who used to come out and visit once in awhile, didn't show up. He went to someone else's birthday gig instead, I guess. He's been acting a bit weird lately anyway, singing songs praising Takeshima and the Sea of Japan (it's actually Dokdo and the East Sea, if you ask any sensible person) and showing everyone his autographed Apollo Ono photo - you know, the skater that clearly lost in the last Winter Olympics to the Korean, Kim Dong Sun, who was robbed blind!

Julie woke John and I up at the crack of dawn yesterday. It took a bit of effort to get John up and going as he's used to getting up at 2:30 (when his cell phone alarm went off later). Once he got up, we went over to the department store and got some tall coffees from The Coffee Bean, and some chicken "kebaps" and giant mandu dumplings from the food court. Later, after ripping the Xbox control from John's clamped, sweaty hands, we all went out to Migliore in Myongdong. John knew of a shop there that sells perfect knock-off Diesel Jeans and other fakes. They look and feel exactly the same, but instead of paying $200, they cost just $38. Julie bought be a nice pair for me and I picked myself another pair of imitation Paper Denims for about $45. You really can't tell the difference. The only giveaway is a small tear-away tag on the inside of the pants that says Made in Thailand, or Hong Kong. Having been unable to find a decent (affordable) pair of jeans that fit in ages, this was a real treat. Then we went out for a nice pizza dinner and John headed home.

Bonnie sent me a message this morning to wish me a happy birthday, which was nice of her. I guess she made a note off my passport. She informed Ally who made all the kids sing me happy birthday each class. That was pretty cute. Especially the first class, an ear splitting chorus that sounded something like this:

Happy baday to ew
Happy baday ooh ooh

hakky mmmday mmm, mmm, mmm

ooh oh ooh ooh, ooh ooh.

Teacher, no cake? Party! Cake! I'm hungry! No Cake???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, back to shameless self promotion. I just ordered up another big box of Island of Fantasy books. Thirty will be available at Seoul Selection later in the week and I'll drop another 10-20 off at What the Book? in Itaewon. If we get around to it, Julie and I are going to try to contact more bookstores here and in other cities. So far I've only tried those two places, and they've not only stocked my book but have sold out several times. You can also order directly from me, the easiest option if you prefer Paypal or plastic, or if you don't live in Korea. By the way, this newest edition has chapter breaks, a few miscellaneous fixes and the cover is supposed to be printed on glossy white paper to make it brighter. They were using some off-yellow color before, for whatever reason.

Well, that's it for today. Thanks for all the e-mails from everyone. I'm surprised anyone still reads this without any pictures. I'm almost positive I'm going to buy a camera later in the week. Julie is insisting I get one before we take another trip next week. We both have another 4-day weekend and we're going to rent a car again and head into the country, or so we've been planning.


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