Friday, March 28, 2008

The New Start Over

Well, I guess I'm back in blogness at least for the moment. I previously had the blog entitled thebrothersheiner which I started and kept up in Taiwan and a bit after but that I very stupidly attempted to delete a few months back when I grew tired of it and felt it wasn't appreciated. I don't expect this new blog to be any more appreciated except maybe by myself. This will be manifest in that I will not attempt to delete this one because I now realize that sometime in the future I may appreciate being able to look back on my ramblings as an insight into what I may have been doing and thinking at the time. Otherwise I'll have no idea because I don't have one of those things called a memory that people are always talking about. "Hey, remember such and such" people will often say. "Shut up Mr. I actually have a memory" I say. But back to the deletion attempt now- So I went through all the process to officially have my blog deleted and it was for the most part. I recently discovered not completely. If one types in my old address a blog still exists there which contains a few of my old posts but none of my photos and two new random advertisement or consumer report looking posts that I haven't cared enough about to read. I find this very strange and quite annoying that someone has commandeered my address and a few old posts which are supposed to be extinct. However, I am grateful to have been able to reclaim a couple stolen posts that I included below here via copy and paste. I am not certain that the dates I put on them are correct but it's what the renegade blog had posted. Below I'm going to list a few bullet points of significant events that have taken place during my bloglessness in an attempt to get back up to speed somewhat.

End of June 2006
Returned home from Taiwan where I had been teaching English for a year

July 2006
Bummed around at my parents' in Idaho, hung out, visited friends and family

August 2006
Moved to Twin Falls, lived with my friends Jake and Heidi, and worked for a temp agency at the Twin Falls County Fairgrounds in Filer being a night garbage man among other things.

* Enlisted in the United States Army Reserve to be a Civil Affairs Specialist in the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion in Pleasant Grove, UT.

End of September 2006
Shipped off to basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky where I had to wait for a little over two weeks for my Basic Training to start.

October, Friday the 13th 2006
Officially started Basic training.

December 2006
Graduated from Basic training and came home to Idaho for almost three weeks for Christmas break.

January 2007
Flew to Fayetville, North Carolina and entered Fort Bragg for AIT (Advanced Individual Training) to become a Civil Affairs Specialist.

April 2007

Graduated from AIT and returned home to Idaho and Utah for a couple of weeks where I visited friends and family.

May 2007
Moved to Salt Lake, stayed with Thurm and Nat for a couple weeks, until I got the apartment that I'm in now and started working for Cambridge Builders Inc.

Summer 2007
Worked, rock climbed, swam, hung out with Amy, Leisel, Anthony and Thurm and Nat.

September 2007
* Started playing drums in a band called January with mine and Amy's friends Chris (guitar) and Jess (Bass) and their friend Ryan (keyboards) with Amy as our busy little manager.
Climbed the Grand Teton in Wyoming with Dax and his friend Mike. Flew to Houston and visited Adena for a few days. Smashed my left index finger at work real good with a large beam and got thirteen stitches. It's just now starting to look a little more normal.

End November 2007
* Started what has turned out to be an extremely long yet pleasant hiatus from work with the plans to do a lot of traveling and snowboarding (bought season pass to Brighton) and return to work in a couple of months.

December 2007
Did quite a bit of snowboarding and a whole lot of movie watching. On my way to Idaho on Christmas Eve, I was hit in my car by another car while going through a green stop light. I was ok but my car wasn't. Hung out with Amy and her family Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and then her and I went to Idaho.

January 2008
* Got a check from Farmers Insurance for just under $1,000 for my deceased car and bought my mega gas guzzling Isuzu Trooper. My Uncle Harlow died and me, Amy, Anthony, Thurm, Nat, and Marci and her girls went home to Idaho for the funeral which was really good as far as funerals go. At the end of the month Anthony and I started the Zone diet and exercising, both of which I'm still keeping up with for the most part.

February 2008
Went to Korea with five other people from my reserve unit to a training exercise at Camp Redcloud which is about a 45 minute train ride from Seoul. While there, we had a lot of free time and I got to go into Seoul a few times and see Lumina and Karyn and some of there friends.

March 2008
Amy and I flew to Paris on the 17th and got back on the 24th. We had a fantastic time, stayed at a great hostel, rode the metro all over, saw all the cool touristy Paris stuff in addition to just doing a lot of walking around and looking. We also took the train to Orleans and stayed with my friend Kirill (former exchange student that lived with my parents and I in high school) and his wife Carolyn and their son Aliosha that live there and had a great time. They were wonderful hosts, fed us very well, took us around, and even took us on walks. Amy and I both loved our time in Orleans and especially the exquisite cheeses and bread that followed most meals. We also got to eat a traditional French Easter Lunch (as far as I know) at Carolyn's parents'. It was fantastic and I wish I had pictures of each of the five courses.

Well, that pretty much catches everyone up on the last year and a half of my very busy life.

May 2007- A list for the Misters and Missesses

I'm at Thurm and Gnat's in SLC listening to Elliot smith on iTunes while they sit on the couch and laugh and be lovey dovey (this is not uncommon). I suppose that's it's been a long enough time lapse that I can blog now. I seem to be limited to about one per month and I don't want to outdo myself and there's not much danger that I will. Well, I actually have a fair amount of news to share but I'll do it quick and fast in a speedy manner. 1. I am not in training for the Lord's Army of one (USof A's Army) full time any longer. I've been bumped down to once a month training now which'll take place at my unit in Pleasant Grove, UT. 2. I have a beard (although not big and grissly (sniff sniff sniffle)). 3. I got a job in SLC. 4. I'm living in SLC now. 5. I'm staying with Thurm and Gnat currently. 6. My job is for a construction company and we're doing siding, roofing, and decking on huge condo's in Park City. 7. I have my first drill at my unit this coming weekend and this means that I'll have to shave my beard. 8. I'm going to find another place to live down here that isn't with Thurm and Gnat. 9. I've been eating lots of granola bars and gogurt's lately and I have a bunch of gogurts freezing in the freezeer right this second. 10. I'm excited to eat frozen gogurts. 11. I went climbing today with Dax and Leisel and it was fUN with a capitol UN. I hadn't been for a long while and I'm going to start up again. 12. I would also like to start up my raquetball fetish once again and perhaps start playing handball 13. That is all.PS. I'll end with a poemJanis Joplin ate an ice cream coneThomas Petty wanted a loanJan said Tommy, go ask your mommyThompson said Janny, kiss my fannyand they lived happily ever after except for when Janis died and Tommy free falled for far too long

May 2006- Bowling with Hello Kitty

Some would say that a new post is in order. In fact as I recall, some or at least one has said that. So here it is. I'm not going to fill you in on one day shy of two months of news because that'd take two full sentences. I will tell you this: I just got back from bowling or as I like to call it: rollin'. That may sound lame to those of you who don't understand my new obsession to "rollin" but if you do understand my new obsession with bowling, it may still sound lame. If you "get it" than you will of course understand that it is smooth and cool and hip in the world of big-time bowlers as I imagine that world to be. I will also sadly admit that I just unbuttoned my pants while I am sitting here at my module due to my progressive gut which is a fitting accompaniment to my progressive interest in bowling. I've entertained the notion of getting a job at a bowling alley upon my return to the land of promise. I figure I might be able to get a free nacho and bowling hook up if I do. I could quickly begin building my repore with the big wigs by occasionally divvying out free games when my manager wasn't around. At least I could get in with my fellow wanna be's and eventually work my way up the ranks until I successfully infiltrate the big business of the bowling infastructure. Aside from bowling, I manage to concentrate a decent amount of my energy into collecting hello kitty pins. In short, nothing has changed, pretty standard fare. For those of you not familiar with the hello kitty/7-11 empire here in Taiwan, let me explain. The 7-11 corporation is a co-owner of Taiwan. It's partner in ownership is none other than the able bodied hello kitty corporation. Together, they have successfully gained a monopoly over Taiwan's consumerism, or at least mine. When you purchase anything at 7-11 equaling the amount of 77 qui (about $2.50 US), you receive a nicely pink wrapped hello kitty pin that could be any of 50 different pins featuring hello kitty herself among a variety of country's flowers or other catchy scenarios painted out on a square, round, flower, or butterfly shaped pin that could be easily pinned on any lapel. I have successfully collected each of the 38 country and their flower pins as well as the next set of five highlighting random hello kitty-ness. The masterminds at 7-hello kitty-11 have recently announced the addition of 7 "new" collectible pins to the pot. I have only been able to secure 3 of them as yet. I really don't know why I have developed this obsession, I only know that I have and when this thing grabs hold of me, I can only go with it. While I am relating my current totally normal time takers, I should also mention the drum game. It is a sort of arcade game in which one drums to music on the big "I can't remember what exactly they are called traditional Taiwanese" drums with two large plastic or wooden sticks. This and the ring toss (whereby many beverages can be won) at the night market have taken about 50 percent of my earnings while here. I'd say it's been a pretty good investment. I haven't done as much movie watching this past month as I had been doing for a while but it's still probably as much or more than most. A few of us saw mission impossible 3 last night and I will admit that I did like it. Phillip Seymour Hoffman made a pretty good bad guy. That's a role I've never seen him in before. It was definitely a good action flick and surprisingly low on cheesiness. On the subject of movies, I actually have four to return that are a couple days late. The sad thing is that I haven't even watched two of them. I really am slacking. I need to raise the bar. I'm letting bowling, hello kitty pin collecting, and drum gaming cut into my movie time. Don't you worry, running has not been a distraction for quite some time. Thurm cannot say the same. He's stuck with it pretty consistently and I'm proud of him. I might even do it with him some time. In the mean time I'll just be depressed that for the first time in years my gut is bigger than his. I'm thinking about planning to do something to change that. Well, I suppose this is more than sufficient. As it stands, we have just under two more months left here in Taiwan. This is exciting and a bit saddening. There'll be a lot to miss. However, there is also plenty to look forward to. Plenty of decisions are not really some of those things that I'm looking forward to. It's been said that one can't put them off an entire lifetime but I am currently challenging that notion. Pictures and or another post are soon to come at least in relation to the time that has elapsed between this and the last post.

March 2006- ramblings from Taiwan and reflections of Korea

So I haven't felt much like writing for quite a while but I always come back. I don't feel like writing now either but I also don't feel like doing anything else either and I suppose it's time to write a bit. Thurm and I are sitting here at our neiboring computers. He's messaging Natalie and I'm posting but we're both listening to built to spill. I love all the wonderful music that I have on my module. My collection just keeps growing larger and larger between an occasional online purchase and a more than occasional adding of someone else's cd to my collection. I've been blessed with a few people around each semester with great music tastes and accompanying great music collections who have been kind enough to share with me. Two things I did not expect to happen while being here in Taiwan was to listen to new (to me) music or watch new movies. Both of these have happened in great abundance. I have been on a bit of a movie binge for a while. There obviously aren't the options for movies here that there in the states but there's a much better selection than I ever anticipated. I've paid to see more movies here in the theaters than I ever did back home. The great majority of my movie watching though is either on cable or rental movies. I've had a couple weekends here where I've managed to get in about 7 or 8 movies. I'm sure that I've had a 12-15 movie week. Impressed? I don't know if you should be impressed or disgusted. Be whatever you want and while you're over doing that I'll be watching another movie. Oh yeah, I've still been doing some running but Thurm and Jen have still been keeping more consistent than I have. I'd rather have raquetball and rock climbing but that's hard to come by here. We did play a bit of pick up badmitton last night that got pretty intense. We're going to have a basketball night with the school secretaries this week. Yeah, we're working it in the athletics department. I'll be back before the month's out.

February 2006- Transportation

I'm still here. At the moment I'm in Lumina's office in Pundang which is a suburb of Seoul, I guess, it's really just one gigantic continuous mass of buildings, lights, streets, and Koreans. I spent a good three hours on the subway today and the subway sojourn is not over yet or at least the bus or taxi sojourn. My subway hours didn't include the bus and taxi proceeding it, which amounted to almost an hour. I'm actually not complaining in all of this. It's just rather amazing that I've spent so much time in one day in transportation all basically within the same city. Actually, my entire day has been made up entirely of one form of transport or another because when I wasn't in a taxi, bus, or subway, I was walking either through a museum or to get to my next form of transportantion. I went to the Korea War Memorial Museum today, which was huge and very extensive and impresive. It is in Seoul and Lumina works in Pundang. I came out here with her (taxi and bus and walking) and then back to Seoul (subway and walking) to the museum and then back to here (subway and walking) and later we'll be going back to Seoul(?) . We're off now to go eat and kareoke (Korean style) with the Korean teachers that she works with. I was going to go running today but I feel justified in having not done it.

February, 2006- Korean Post

I'm here in Seoul. It's proving to be a great time. Janey and Thurm and I are all here in a hostel. I'm on the net and they're in bed. The two of 'em are leavin' tomorrow morning but I'm not out of here for another three days. Today we went to the border of North and South Korea, which was a really cool oppurtunity. It was also a very expensive oppurtunity but it's being a rarity justified it in my mind. We got to go stand by the stone faced guards and take pictures on the South side and peer into the communist North side watching their flag fly high (higher than the South's) in the wind in front of their very communist appearing cement naziesqe buildings. We got to see the "bridge of no return" between the North and South borders that was used to determine whether one was chosing communism or not. It was crazy seeing an actual communist area right there. It's a bit of a new perspective actually being there even though I didn't actually experience communism. It's just not something that I think about often because it's not something I deal with regularly. Anyway, I'm glad we went on the tour. Seoul all together has been great. We've been riding the very extensive subway system a lot. I think subway's are really cool. The whole underground networks are amazing to me. They are also full of Koreans and there seems to be plenty to go around. We were also able to go up to the Seoul Tower tonight. It's brilliant. Seoul is so huge. You can look out around the whole city's skylines and lights and it's incredible. I'm going to bed.