Tuesday, January 10, 2012

nope, i'm not dead...

i've just moved over to... *shhh* wordpress..

here's the link: chrisseto.ca/blog/

go check it out.

Friday, January 9, 2009

microscopic beauty

ever wondered what a piece of dust might look like under a microscope?  how bout a grain of sand? .. no eh?  me neither.  and if you did look at such objects up close, guess what?  you'll find that they are exactly as you imagine them to be - dull, unimportant, meaningless...
however, there is an artist out there by the name of willard wigam who is able to see beyond the norm.  when he looks at a speck of dirt, he can see the statue of liberty.  when he views a grain of sugar, he sees a boxing ring with two fighters duking it out.  many would call him 'crazy', or perhaps, 'delusional' if not for his amazing ability to produce the very things he sees potential for.  by slowing down his pulse and working inbetween heartbeats, wigam is able to create masterpieces out of miniscule objects that most might just inhale without even realizing it.

many of his pieces are framed inside the eye of a needle 

i almost didn't really believe it when i saw it, but they validated his work on snopes - he seems to be the real deal.  i'll never look at a speck of dust the same way again..

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the blog is back!

so...  anyone still following this blog?  after the last few months of silence i don't blame you if you bailed.  however, things are happening, wheels are in motion, and the view from here is now going to be a glimpse of different surroundings..

recap time:  becky and i came back from south korea on october 31, a mere 2.5 months ago.  it was a pretty odd experience reintegrating back into canadian culture.  they call it reverse culture shock, and it's often worse than the original one (so they say; I thought it was a myth..).  it was weird enough leaving asia and arriving back in toronto just two hours after we left (...with the time difference of course.. you know..), but as soon as we landed, i knew... we'd just left the island, and i don't think we're going to find our way back ('lost' reference).  we were slammed back into canadian culture, like a puck flying into a snowbank - and it was sooo good. standing in line at customs we followed instructions from a guy who gave them in english, and french, and pointed to a sign with other languages all over it - I was home.  no more mono-culture.  becky and i continued through the airport checks (where they took away my so-ju! man! i'll never be able to share the experience with the people back home!), and it just so happened that the hockey game was playing.. mmmm.

and so it went on like this, at least for me, for a week or so.  the jet lag was pretty brutal, but it was expected.  what i didn't expect was the weirdness i felt while i walked through our mall, and tried to have a conversation with the bank teller.  "and how can i help you today?"     "...uhhh...무엇?"   it was so weird!  and i know that all my friends that they feel the same way when they come back home for the holiday's, saying "yeah, milton is so different now, eh?".  yes it has been through a pretty crazy growth spurt, even been called "canada's fastest growing municipality", but it wasn't that kind of culture shock.  this was a "whoa! i can communicate with over 90% of the population now!" kind of shock.

but that is old news.  

presently, i'm beginning to feel a bit more like a normal canadian again.  i'm even applying for schools for next year here in canada.  the year abroad had good points and bad (i'll do more of a korea wrap-up in a later blog), but, at least for the moment, i'm looking to stick around this country for a while.

for now i'll end here - i really hope to write in this blog more, and maybe with more of a purpose.  some blogs are all about something you know; about the environment, or about beer, or.. something.  this is the year of being decisive.  no more writing about nothing. i'm going to make decisions and ... write about ... something..

..til then here's a great video of this guys who dances in europe. his name is davey, and he's dancin! 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

almost done..

It's been 15 months since I first arrived on the land of the morning calm and my time here is just about up. Becky and I have been trying to figure out all the things we want to do and see before we leave here - but I think we've pretty much check all the "to do's" off the list. Now all that seems to be left is selling some stuff off, and packing up.
There's been some highlights and lowlights in the Korean experience, and in this blog I want to share those with you. In the spirit of "Top Five's", here it is.
The top five's about my Korean experience (in no particular order). The good news, or the bad news first? .. lets start with the bad (save the best for last).

The Top Five Negatives About My Korean Experience
1. Turns out that Korean food is... well it's not what I expected it to be. I thought "yeah, Thai food is awesome, so is Malaysian food, and Chinese food, and Japanese food..." My mom might say, "when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me." .. i like that one.

2. Living 10 minutes from the beach isn't what I first thought it would be like. I imagined morning runs on the beach (in slow motion), and surfing lots on weekends. Turns out that even though Korea is surrounded by ocean, the waves suck! The surfing contest turned into a paddling contest this year.

(I would have put that my apartment was a negative, but... I moved to a much sweeter place, so it heads for the positive)

3. The distance between us all. Busan isn't a big city, but it is a thick city. I imagined all of us 'former ssuers' living in a kind of community (I don't mean living in a big yellow building, but you know..), or at least close to each other where we could see each other often. We were at opposite corners of the city, and Jessie and Justin were not even in town! Those potluck weekends, or those night's out just didn't happen as much as I had wanted, or hoped.

4. My goal about learning Korea has come to a crashing disappointment. I studied for the first month or two - even had a language exchange with a Korean friend - but I gave up soon after I realized that I would probably never use it again after I leave Korea.

5. Just as I'm about to cash in my last two paychecks, and my bonus month paycheck, the Korean won has fallen the lowest it has in 10 years against the dollar. This means that I'm making thousands of dollars less than I would have if it had stayed constant from the time I arrived here. I don't want to add it all up because it is just too painful.

Top Five Positives About My Korean Experience
1. I survived a year in a culture that I couldn't communicate with. Not only was I able to get by, but I made some good Korean friends along the way (the English speaking ones). I feel accomplished in being able to navigate my way around the city with only using a tourist map - unable to ask people questions about direction, food or drink (it might sound like a lame accomplishment, but it makes me feel like I find my way around here, I'll never feel lost anywhere else.)

2. The tickets for professional sports events are super cheap! I got to see a basketball game, soccer game, and like, 5 baseball games, all for what it would cost to get half a ticket back home. And although the soccer and basketball might not be the caliber as back home, the baseball has got to be - these guys won the Olympics.

3. I was able to save; the expenses are minimal. I got a free apartment, and free flights here. The food is just as cheap to eat out, as it is to cook for myself. The stuff I bought, I can sell to another foreigner for almost the same price. I moved out of a small dump with one window that faced a brick wall, to a two room apartment with a view of the harbor (sure, it's the ship building harbor, but so what? I can see water..). The living conditions are pretty sweet in terms of my expenses toward them.

4. The travel. I was able to buy a motorcycle and travel around a bunch of South Korea. Camping on beautiful islands and driving through paddy fields surrounded by mountains - it was awesome! I got to check out Japan, and spend some time in Vietnam. The experience alone would be worth it even if I hadn't saved money. (well... then again... all that debt?...)

5. The experience with the magazine The Korea Sun. I was invited to be a staff writer for the magazine several months back, and that gave me a bunch of experience with what it's like to be an actual journalist. I don't know what I want to do career-wise, but photo-journalism is an option. With the writer/photographer job I also got a media pass- this was the coolest part. With this pass I got to go backstage at nearly every event, and sit with the press. I got to go ring side for the muay thai competition, and on top of the halfpipe at the TreX-Games. I got to sit with the other photographers (who have lenses about 50x bigger than mine), and watch the baseball game on the field (in 'high-fiving range' of the ball players). Also, writing the Korean history column every month has really helped me get to know, and respect Korea's history and culture. I first suggested this article because I felt that foreigners were living here with no idea about the cool past that this country has. I wanted to share it with them - and it's great that it all seemed to work out.

These are the top fives of both the positive and the negative aspects of my Korean experience. Funny, it's all about expectations. I suppose that if I had none coming into Korea I might have less to call negative in the end... But I think, even if I expected the Won to fall so much, I would still feel gypped.

Friday, August 29, 2008

happy birthday

Happy Birthday Andy!!