It’s cold. I just walked for an hour and a half outside and froze my sack off, but I do live in Korea and it is winter, so this is to be expected. I’m trying to walk as much as possible to stave-off the lingering specter of fat bastard-dom, but I come from chunky people and age is taking its toll. But don’t they say that we burn more calories in freezing temperatures? I still don’t like it, though. Give me a treadmill in a warm gym any day, where I can putz about like a hamster on a Habitrail and watch CNN. I fucking hate CNN, but it is supposedly news, and it is in English. I have managed to become conversant in the local tongue over the seven-plus years I have called this ol’ port city home, but that doesn’t mean I’m anywhere near fluent, so English-y news is a must. Plus I’m old and stuck in my ways. And East Asian languages are really really hard.

So… that was my opening salvo for the new and improved HOMELY PLANET, otherwise known as SHOWBIZ CENTRAL. I started this blog in 2004 when I was a fresh-faced pup – just washed up on the rocky shores if this ancient peninsula. I was bursting with energy and enthusiasm, regularly spewing forth posts about the pepper-paste covered cuisine and bizarre contents of the street markets and the alleys and the classroom and nightly sessions of drowning myself in the country’s cheap, formaldehyde-laced lager. This blog became an outlet for the civil war brewing inside me, and guess what? Some people liked it. It never became super popular or garnered the respect of the expat blog douche-ocracy based up in Seoul, but I had plenty of readers and the comment threads alone became a kick in the pants.

But then something happened… the blog atrophied. I started writing for other venues, and then began work on my book, Dispatches from the Peninsula, (Buy it!!!) which I am fervently pimping here. So I stopped posting as much. I also kind of ran out of things to say about Korea. The place stopped being weird on a daily basis. Sure, sometimes I’d emerge from a state-of-the-art subway station only to find a 90-year-old woman selling a pile of tree bark and three dead octopus just meters from the entrance, but Korea just became a place where I lived. Home. I had squeezed the sponge for all it was worth.

I also noticed that the site which hosted my blog, Livejournal, had begun to decay from the inside out. Today the place it little more than a maggot-eaten carcass. Most all of my “friends” bolted eons ago, and the posts that show up on my “friends’ list” are dominated by another expat dude who puts up 17 posts a day obsessing on Lindsey Lohan and TV shows that I will never, ever watch. My blog has been on life support over there for the past year and a half, and it’s now time to pull the plug. Calling Dr. Kevorkian! Oh wait… he died this year… but unlike all of his patients, his passing was entirely unassisted.

So, here I am, making one more stab at it. I like writing, and moreover, I like writing for an audience, which is what blogging is all about, no? I don’t really know how to build an audience at this site, other than to whore it out on facebook. But, hell, I’ll do whatever it takes.

Thanks for reading. Y’all come back now, y’hear?


3 thoughts on “AND WE’RE OFF

  1. As a longtime reader of the old tharp42 blog with the hedgehog in a gasmask or whatever the fuck, let me be the first to congratulate you on your move. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed reading your dispatches. Maybe I too will bring ol’ meangenebravo over from livejournal, and Sam can bring back the cattleskin. Ah, wouldn’t it be nice if it were 2004 again.

    CNN is garbage, burn your tv.

  2. Yeah, Gino. I miss those days when we first arrived and all had blogs. Facebook ate a lot of souls, it seems. But it’s never too late to keep up the good fight. Thanks for being the first commenter on the new blog.

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